Thousands of Balearic workers who were affected by the March 15, Temporary Employment Regulation File, or ERTE, have still not received unemployment benefits for March, which should have been paid on April 10, because of the collapse of the State Public Employment Service, or SEPE.
Many companies did not submit the ERTE until April, which means affected workers will not be paid until May.
In the first week of the State of Emergency in the Balearic Islands, 8,080 ERTEs were submitted for 71,100 workers, according to the Minister of Tourism & Labor, Iago Negueruela. The 18,000 already filed affect 158,000 employees. The Government has employed more than 50 extra officials in the department that handles the ERTEs and 4,200 were resolved by Monday.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Labour acknowledged that there was a delay in paying unemployment benefits due to the high volume of ERTE files on the table, despite the reinforcement of the SEPE, but have not ruled out the possibility that the outstanding payments could be made this month.
The Social Dialogue Bureau has analysed the delicate economic situation in the Balearic Islands caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and an agreement was reached on Wednesday between the Government, Employers and Unions to maintain the business fabric.
After the meeting, the President of the Government, Francina Armengol, announced that the Central Government will be asked if companies that have applied for Temporary Employment Regulation Files by force majeure can go to ERTE for productive reasons.
"We will ask the government if the force majeure ERTEs for the Tourism Sector can remain in place for at least six months after the restrictions end and that companies get discounts on Social Security contributions during that period in order to maintain companies and jobs,” she said.
The Executive wants the Central Government to assume the cost of these contributions.
"The Government would arbitrate to be able to finance the loan so that the companies can assume these contributions to Social Security," said Armengol.
The proposal is that companies change ERTE for force majeure to ERTE of productive causes and that the State pay contributions, so that workers can continue to collect even though they enter ERTE of productive force and at the same time companies can get state bonuses.
“The intention is to protect economic activity as soon as possible so that they can benefit from a flexible ERTE, that they enter and exit and continue to maintain access to the extraordinary conditions that these files entail,” said Armengol.
On Wednesday, the Minister of Treball i Turisme, Iago Negueruela, recommended that companies file ERTE so that they do not have problems and can maintain viability.
“That there is not a day when the companies can be registered without having activity, since that this would generate decapitalisation,” he said, adding that “the transition from one type of ERTE to another is feasible because the drop in tourist demand is such that companies may not recover.”
CAEB has asked that the ERTE be maintained while there are restrictions in place.
The President of the CAEB, Carmen Planas, said on Wednesday that it was "imperative" that the Central Government guarantee that the conditions contemplated by the declaration of ERTEs by force majeure are maintained while there are restrictions on business activity.
Planas said she valued the agreement reached in the Social Dialogue Table.
“CAEB subscribes to the agreement for responsibility, which must be a first step that leads to a response to urgent requests which are still pending, such as adopting new measures in tax matters to support companies,” she said.