At the gates of a new negotiation for the extension of ERTEs

The government, unions and employers are preparing to begin, on January 8, new negotiations to extend the temporary work regulation files (ERTE), which are covered, with data at the end of November 2020, nearly 750,000 people , far from the 3.4 million workers who arrived in an ERTE in April

Labor and Social Economy Minister Yolanda Daz has previously said she will summon social workers after Reyes to address this negotiation and CCOO chief Unai Sordo recently revealed that the negotiation will begin on January 8.

The government, unions and employers agree that this tool is still needed, especially for sectors that have not been able to fully resume their activity, such as tourism, or that are subject to restrictions. to stop Covid infections, such as hospitality or commerce.

Indeed, the rescue plan in favor of the hotel industry, commerce and tourism that the government approved a few weeks ago has extended the number of sectors “ultra-protected” by the ERTEs to various activities, including commerce. wholesale of drinks, restaurants and food stands, activities in botanical gardens, zoological parks and nature reserves, drinking establishments and gambling and betting activities (casinos, bingo halls, lotteries and betting houses).

The current ERTE regulation will be in effect until January 31, and businessmen have long been asking to extend the next extension at least until the end of the state of alert decreed in Spain (May 9 ). The Ministries of Labor and Social Security do not talk about deadlines and limit themselves to ensuring that the ERTE is maintained until necessary.

It was expensive to sign the extension until January, in particular because of the differences that exist between the employers’ association and certain members of the government as regards the sectors to be protected by the ERTE. In the end, an agreement was reached almost on short notice, which was presented in the form of a decree to the Council of Ministers.

The said decree, approved at the end of September, automatically extended until January 31 the procedures for force majeure for certain economic sectors, and created two figures, the ERTE of prevention of activity and the ERTE of limitation of activity, to which All companies are eligible, with fairly high exemptions, which in some cases can reach 100%.

ERTEs of force majeure with automatic extension are limited to the companies most affected by the pandemic whose activity is classified in one of the codes of the National Nomenclature of Economic Activities (CNAE-09) provided for by the standard, with exemptions quotas between 75% and 85%. These exemptions can also benefit companies which, although not part of these sectors, are in their value chain or whose activity depends mainly on it.

In the case of the new forms of ERTE in force, from which companies in any sector can take advantage, there are two types: ERTE due to an obstacle to activity resulting from restrictions adopted by the authorities (for example , night companies), and activity limitation ERTE, intended for companies that see their activity modified when a local, regional or state authority limits, for example, capacity and hours.

Activity limitation ERTEs come with quota exemptions of between 70% and 100%, while activity restriction ERTEs include exemptions between 90% and 100%.

It remains to be seen whether this ERTE device will be maintained in the new extension and whether there will be other changes in the list of CNAE activities, even if in view of the actions of the autonomous communities to stop the contagions, instruments will continue to be be necessary to protect workers and businesses affected by limitations and obstacles to their activity.


According to social security data, the number of ERTE workers closed the month of November at 746,900, or 18,487 more workers than in October and 40,650 more since the end of September.

The ministry headed by Jos Luis Escriv has detected a “transfer” of ERTEs in force before the last extension of the new regimes included in the new regulation which extended ERTEs until January 31, 2021.

Thus, of the total number of ERTE workers with whom November was closed, 326,296 belong to the “ old ” ERTE, a figure that represents 379,954 workers less than those who were included in these procedures at the end of September. , when new protection regimes.

For its part, the number of people included in the new ERTE, with special exemptions for ultra-protected sectors and coverage for companies affected by administrative restrictions, rose to 420,604 workers in November.

Among these, 218,380 people belong to ultra-protected sectors (of which 167,917 correspond to the CNAE list agreed with social agents in September and 50,463 to companies in its value chain), 79,232 are in ERTE embarrassment and 117,064 in an ERTE activity limitation.


According to the ministry, one of the effects of the implementation of the new protection regimes has been a greater sectoral concentration of protected workers, since 60% of those included in the new ERTE modalities belong to the catering sector. and drinks or accommodation services.

Both sectors had 330,979 workers in the new ERTE in November, concentrating 45% of all workers included in these protection systems, up from 35% at the end of September.

This variation in the use of this protection is also observed in the number of affiliates in each sector covered by the ERTE.

While protected workers represent 5% of total subsidiaries nationally, they represent 62% in the accommodation services sector, 56% in tourism activities and travel agencies, 43% in air transport, 29% in gaming and betting activities, 27% in food services and 19% of workers in sports, leisure and entertainment.

With regard to the ERTE of prevention and limitation, since they are linked to administrative restrictions and that these are different according to the territories, the geographical differences are appreciated: in the Balearic Islands, Castilla-La Mancha, Valencian Community, Extremadura and Madrid, the number of people has been reduced in ERTE compared to September, while in others, such as Asturias, Navarre or Catalonia, the number of ERTE workers has increased compared to September because in these areas the restrictions due to the pandemic were more intense.

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