This Wednesday 1st April, the Royal Decree Law 11/2020 of 31st March has been published, which adopts urgent complementary measures in the social and economic field to face the COVID-19.
With the seventh decree approved in less than three weeks, it goes without saying that this exceptional regulatory situation that we are experiencing, we will now review in summary form the main developments in labour matters in this article.
We begin by referring to Article 30, which establishes the creation of an extraordinary subsidy for lack of activity for workers in the Special System for Domestic Workers.
People who work in the home and are in one of the following situations will be entitled to this extraordinary subsidy due to lack of activity:
- Who have ceased to provide services, in whole or in part, on a temporary basis, in order to reduce the risk of contagion, for reasons beyond their control, in one or more homes and on the occasion of the COVID-19 health crisis.
- That their employment contract has been terminated as a result of the dismissal or withdrawal of the employer due to the COVID-19 health crisis.
Proof of the causal event must be provided by means of a responsible statement, signed by the employing person or persons, with respect to whom the total or partial reduction of services has occurred. In the event of termination of the employment contract, this may be accredited by means of a letter of dismissal, communication of the withdrawal of the employer, or documentation accrediting the withdrawal from the Special System for Domestic Employees of the General Social Security System.
The amount of the subsidy will be the result of applying a percentage of seventy percent to the regulatory base, and may not exceed the Minimum Interprofessional Wage, excluding the proportional part of the extraordinary payments. In the case of partial loss of activity, the amount of the subsidy indicated will be received in direct proportion to the percentage reduction in the working day experienced by the worker. This special allowance for lack of activity is paid monthly from the date of entitlement.
It also creates an exceptional unemployment subsidy at the end of a temporary contract for workers who have had a fixed-term contract (including temporary, training and relief contracts) of at least two months’ duration terminated after the entry into force of Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14 March, declaring the state of alert for the management of the health crisis situation caused by the COVID-19, and who do not have the necessary contribution to access another benefit or subsidy.
This exceptional subsidy will consist of a monthly allowance of 80 percent of the current monthly Public Multiple Effect Income Indicator and its duration will be one month, extendable if so determined by Royal Decree-Law.
Within one month of the entry into force of Royal Decree Law 11/2020, the State Public Employment Service will establish the procedure for processing applications, which will determine the forms, processing system (in person or online) and deadlines for submission of both the extraordinary allowance for inactivity of persons in the Special System for Domestic Workers and the exceptional unemployment allowance at the end of a temporary contract.
Article 34 contains the expected Moratorium on Social Security Contributions.
The General Treasury of Social Security is empowered to grant six-month moratoriums, without interest, to companies and self-employed workers (autónomos) who request it and meet the requirements and conditions that will be established by Order of the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration.
The moratorium, when granted, will affect the payment of their social security and joint collection contributions, whose accrual period, in the case of companies, will be between April and June 2020 and, in the case of self-employed workers, between May and July 2020, provided that the activities they carry out have not been suspended as a result of the state of alert declared by Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14 March.
Applications for a moratorium must be notified to the Social Security General Treasury within the first 10 calendar days of the statutory deadlines for payment corresponding to the indicated accrual periods and the granting of the moratorium will be notified within three months of the application. However, this notification shall be deemed to have been made when the moratorium is actually applied by the Social Security General Treasury in the quota settlements made from the time the application is submitted.
It should be noted that this moratorium will not apply to companies that have obtained exemptions in the payment of the business contribution, as well as in the joint collection fees as a result of the procedures of suspension of contracts and reduction of working hours due to force majeure.
Another novelty included in the following article is the deferral of payment of social security debts. Companies and self-employed workers, provided they have no other deferral in force, may request deferral of the payment of their Social Security debts for which the statutory period of payment is between April and June 2020, under the terms and conditions established in the Social Security regulations, with interest of 0.5% being applicable. These requests for deferment must be made before the first ten calendar days of the regulatory period for payment indicated above.
There are also new developments in sick leave, referring to situations of temporary incapacity in exceptional situations of total confinement.
By means of the corresponding termination notice, the protection is therefore extended to all workers who provide essential services, in accordance with RDL 10/2020, in a location other than that of their domicile, provided that it has been agreed to confine the population where they are domiciled and they have been expressly denied the possibility of moving by the competent authority and cannot carry out their work telematically for reasons not attributable to the company for which they provide their services or to the worker himself and are not entitled to receive any other public benefit.
The accreditation of the agreement of confinement of the population where they have the domicile and the denial of the possibility of displacement will be made by means of certification issued by the city council of the domicile before the corresponding organ of the public health service. Similarly, the impossibility of carrying out the work telematically will be accredited by means of a certificate from the company or a responsible declaration in the case of self-employed workers before the same body of the public health service.
The fourteenth additional provision clarifies somewhat further, with limitations and in a rather imprecise manner, the point about the commitment to maintaining employment established in the sixth additional provision of Royal Decree-Law 8/2020 of 17 March on extraordinary urgent measures to deal with the economic and social impact of the COVID-19. This will be assessed in attention to the specific characteristics of the different sectors and the applicable labour regulations, taking into account, in particular, the specifics of those companies that present a high variability or seasonality of employment or a direct relationship with specific events or shows, as is the case, among others, in the field of the performing, musical, film and audiovisual arts.
In particular, in the case of temporary contracts, the commitment to maintain employment will not be understood to have been breached when the contract is terminated due to the expiry of the agreed time or the performance of the work or service that constitutes its object, or when the activity that is the object of the contract cannot be performed immediately. In any case, the measures provided for in Articles 22 to 28 of Royal Decree Law 8/2020 of 17 March shall apply to all workers, regardless of the fixed or indefinite duration of their contracts.
Finally, we reproduce the amendments made (specifying the requirements) to article 8 of Royal Decree Law 8/2020, of 17 March, on urgent extraordinary measures to deal with the economic and social impact of the COVID-19, which includes the extraordinary benefit for the cessation of activity for self-employed persons and which we commented on in a previous article:
“«1. In exceptional cases, and for a period of one month from the date of entry into force of Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14 March, declaring the state of alert for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19, or until the last day of the month in which the state of alert ends, if this is extended for more than one month, self-employed workers or the self-employed, whose activities are suspended, by virtue of the provisions of the aforementioned Royal Decree, or, otherwise, when their turnover in the month prior to that for which the benefit is requested is reduced by at least 75 per cent in relation to the average turnover for the previous six-month period, shall be entitled to the extraordinary benefit for cessation of activity regulated in this article, provided that they meet the following requirements
- To be affiliated and registered, on the date of the declaration of the state of alarm, with the Special Social Security Regime for Self-Employed or Autonomous Workers or, if applicable, with the Special Social Security Regime for Sea Workers.
- In the event that your activity is not directly suspended by virtue of the provisions of Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14 March, you must prove that your turnover has been reduced by at least 75% compared to the previous six months. In the case of self-employed workers or those carrying out activities under any of the CNAE 2009 codes between 9001 and 9004 inclusive, the reduction in turnover will be calculated in relation to that carried out in the previous 12 months. Alternatively, for agricultural production of a seasonal nature, this requirement will be deemed to have been met when the average turnover in the months of the production year prior to that for which the benefit is requested is reduced by at least 75 per cent in relation to the same months of the previous year’s campaign.
- Be up to date with the payment of Social Security contributions. However, if on the date of the suspension of activity or reduction in invoicing this requirement is not met, the managing body shall invite the self-employed worker to pay the contributions due within a non-renewable period of thirty calendar days. The regularization of the overdraft will produce full effects for the acquisition of the right to protection”
Three new paragraphs 7, 8 and 9 are added:
“7. In the event of suspension of activity, the contribution corresponding to the days of activity in the month of March 2020 not covered by the benefit regulated in this article, which was not paid within the regulatory period for receipt, will not be subject to the surcharge provided for in Article 30 of the Consolidated Text of the General Social Security Act.
8. Recognition of the benefit regulated in this article may be requested up to the last day of the month following the end of the alarm condition.
9. Accreditation of the reduction in invoicing will be carried out by providing the accounting information that justifies it, which may be done by means of a copy of the register of invoices issued and received; of the daily book of income and expenses; of the register of sales and income; or of the book of purchases and expenses.
Self-employed workers who are not required to keep the books certifying the volume of activity must provide proof of the reduction of at least 75% required by any legally accepted means of proof.
Any application must be accompanied by a sworn statement that all the requirements for entitlement to this benefit have been met”
From the AddVANTE Labour Department we remain at your disposal for further information or to resolve any doubts that may arise in relation to this article.