The government took another step yesterday to prevent the mobility of people in a desperate attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus. The objective of the Government is to try to ensure that the mobility of citizens during the next fifteen days is similar to that of a Sunday, Labor Minister Yolanda Díaz explained yesterday. For this, the Government approved a newly created “paid and recoverable work permit” (ex novo), which will be enjoyed by all workers whose companies are still active and are not part of the essential services. These are the details of the new permission:
- What does this permit consist of? It is about all the workers who are not part of the essential services and were still going to work in person to their jobs until yesterday, stay at home from today until April 9 (both included) and receive their wages. Although, the norm foresees that, today Monday, the workers can go to their position “with the sole purpose of carrying out the essential tasks to make the recoverable paid leave effective, without prejudice to the resumption of business activity.” At the end of the validity of this permit (April 9) and until next December 31, these workers must negotiate and agree with the company how to recover “all or part” of the hours not performed in the eight working days of leave.
- What will the workers who receive it charge? The beneficiaries of this new permit will receive their ordinary salary for the whole of the usual working day and all the remuneration items, including base salary and salary supplements.
- Who can take advantage of this new situation? This permit is, according to the Royal Decree approved yesterday, for “all working people who provide services in those companies that do not carry out activities that are essential.” The norm establishes which are these essential services that are outside of the stoppage and, therefore, of this permit.
- In what situations will this permission not apply? “In no case may the recoverable paid leave be applied to persons who are on sick leave due to disability (or maternity and paternity) or whose contract is suspended for legally established causes.” This is the case of companies that have already applied for or are applying an Employment Regulation File (ERTE) to their workforce who will not have to apply this permit either. As well as to those companies to which one of these ERTEs is authorized while the permit is valid (until April 9). Companies will also not have to apply it to employees who “can continue to carry out their activities normally by teleworking or any other non-contact modality of service provision.”
- Will companies be able to continue requesting ERTE for Covid-19? Yes, those who have seen their activity affected by the limits of the alarm state or by the new suspensions of activity decreed yesterday may continue to choose to do an ERTE or apply this permit until April 9.
- What happens if the company has requested an ERTE to reduce hours or applies a suspension ERTE only to part of its staff? In both cases, the company may combine the two situations, applying the permit to the part of the day not reduced or to those who are not in suspension ERTE. Or you can extend the suspension ERTE to the entire staff.
- What is its duration? From March 30 to April 9. April 9 and 10 are Thursday and Good Friday, so this period is 8 working days for most communities.
- Retainers. The company may set the minimum number of staff or shifts to maintain the essential activity. In any case, “this activity and this minimum number of staff or shifts will have as a reference that held on an ordinary weekend or on holidays.”
- Obligation to negotiate the recovery of horace. The norm obliges the company to negotiate with the workers the formulas to recover the hours of work not performed. Said recovery may be carried out from the day following the end of the alarm state and until December 31, 2020. The Government allows “a huge margin” to negotiate between companies and workers on how to recover hours not worked. They allow any agreed formula as long as it respects the daily and weekly breaks and the conciliation rights granted to the workers.
- Consultation period for negotiation. The amount and the manner in which the hours not worked during this permit will be carried out must obligatorily “be negotiated in a period of consultations between the company and the representation of the workers in a maximum period of seven days”. If there is no legal representation of the staff in the company, an ad hoc commission must be formed for this negotiation, either by the most representative unions or, failing that, it will be integrated by three company workers, to be created within a maximum period of five days.
- When the pact is impossible. If there is no agreement, the company will decide how to recover. The norm indicates that if a pact is not reached between the company and the workers regarding the recovery formula for these eight days not worked, the company will notify the staff and the negotiating commission, within seven days from the end. of the consultations, the decision you have made about when and how to do the leave hours.