President Armengol and minister Iago Negueruela with business association representatives.

29-09-2020Govern de les Illes Balears

Responding to a question from Patricia Guasp of Ciudadanos, the Balearic minister for the economic model, tourism and employment, Iago Negueruela, told parliament on Tuesday that over 80,000 workers with 'fijo discontinuo' contracts will receive extraordinary benefit because of Covid.

Negueruela said that the Balearic government asked Madrid for fijo discontinuo employees to exit ERTE terms and have an extraordinary benefit so that business incur zero costs and workers are protected. This is an "historic agreement" which was confirmed during a phone conversation with the national ministry of employment earlier on Tuesday morning.

While she was pleased about the agreement regarding fijo discontinuo workers, Guasp said that her question was how the regional government thinks that it will protect all hospitality and retail workers, as the proposal from the national ministry will exclude them from the ERTE extension.

"It is a measure that will mean the destruction of thousands of jobs and hundreds of businesses, and all because his ministry has not made a stand, as has been the case in other regions. Good words and intentions do not enable retailers and hoteliers to survive."

Negueruela insisted that there are no distinctions between regions in ERTE extensions both for force majeure and protection in the event of pandemic regrowth.

Idoia Ribas of Vox wanted to know about government plans for protecting workers affected by the prohibition of business activity. The vice-president and minister for productive sectors, Juan Pedro Yllanes, also referred to the "historic agreement" for fijo discontinuo employees and explained that ERTEs have been proposed which protect workers but also give them and companies flexibility. Yllanes justified the prohibition of certain business activities in order to protect people's health.

Ribas insisted that there is a right to work and freedom of employment and that it will be necessary "to compensate those affected by the prohibition of business activity". Yllanes replied by observing that the ERTE extension for the commercial sector will protect 152,000 workers and 18,000 businesses in the Balearics.

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