Meeting of the government's de-escalation technical committee on Monday. | Jose Maria Cuadrado Jimenez


The Spanish government is not expected to make an announcement regarding an extension to ERTE on Tuesday. It had been anticipated that there would be approval of an extension beyond the current expiry date of 30 June at today's cabinet meeting, but four hours of negotiation with employers and unions on Monday failed to arrive at an agreement.

The general secretary of the CCOO union, Unai Sordo, says that negotiations will continue this week. "There are margins for negotiation. I think it can be assured that ERTEs will be extended, but it has yet to be defined under what conditions." Sordo stresses that ERTEs "will continue to be a fundamental tool for sustaining the country's employment".

The draft text which forms the basis of negotiation states that ERTE for force majeure (applicable to the pandemic) will remain in force for as long as there are restrictions which impede or limit companies' full activity. These restrictions include mobility, capacity and health measures.

The government is proposing an extension to end-September, with unemployment benefit associated with ERTE to be maintained until then. The government will also continue the ban on dismissing staff for "objective reasons" until the end of September.

Among the sticking-points are a government proposal to reduce the social security bonuses for companies which are forced to extend ERTE once the state of alarm ends and the demand, especially from the tourism industry, for ERTE to run until the end of the year. The employment minister, Yolanda Díaz, said a few days ago that she was in favour of an extension until the end of December, while certain regional governments - the Balearic government being one of them - have stated the need for ERTE to continue until the year's end in order to prevent companies closing.