ERTEs cost the State 25.9 billion euros since March 2020

The benefits of workers included in a temporary employment regulation file (ERTE) have cost the State Public Employment Service (SEPE) 17,700 million euros. This has been indicated by the Secretary of State for Employment, Joaquin Perez Rey, at the press conference in which the unemployment and affiliation data for the month of December were presented. If the exemptions from Social Security contributions are added to this figure, the cost has increased since March 2020 by 8,200 million. In total, since the start of the pandemic, the cost of this tool is 25.9 billion. In the last month of the year, there were still 102,548 workers in this situation, the majority linked to the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Pérez Rey and also the Secretary of State for Social Security, Israel Arroyo, have underlined the role that this mechanism has played in maintaining and creating jobs in 2021. According to the data presented this Tuesday, 770,000 jobs were created in 2021 and the unemployment fell for the tenth consecutive month. It did so in 76,782 people in December, so the number of unemployed people registered by the SEPE was 3,105,905.

For yet another month, the employees protected by the ERTEs have set a new low. This measure came to protect more than 4 million workers in April 2020, a number that has been declining as restrictions have been lowered to deal with the pandemic. In the last year, ERTE employees have been reduced by half a million. The benefit received by workers and the exemptions, which lower costs for companies, will be in force until February 28, 2022, after the last extension.

Another of the measures put in place at the beginning of the pandemic is the benefit for cessation of activity for self-employed workers, which has had an impact on the public accounts of 6.8 billion euros between 2020 and 2021. Regarding exemptions, the figure amounts to 3,650 million euros, according to data provided by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration.

Both secretaries of state believe that 2022 will be “a good year” in terms of employment. However, Pérez Rey has warned that “we will have to be attentive to the health crisis and the impact on activities.” Asked about the temporary disabilities derived from the Covid, Arroyo has affirmed that there has been an increase, although he has not specified the figure, but has indicated that “all the mechanisms related to employment are still in force”, referring to the losses and the ERTE, as well as well as the benefit for the self-employed.

Change of trend

The hiring data for December show that temporary contracts continue to be the majority, since permanent ones represent 10.3%. However, the Secretary of State for employment believes that there has already been a change in the trend in hiring “with very intense work from the Inspection.” “The number of contract transformation has been extraordinary,” he added. Regarding the new modality established by the labor reform, Pérez Rey assumes that it will begin to be observed “as soon as possible” although in a sustained manner.

Regarding the negotiation with social dialogue – employers and unions – to raise the minimum interprofessional salary (SMI), he explained that it will be resumed when the holidays are over and it will be done in two lines: following the expert report that was presented this summer and with the will to reach 60% of the average salary, as established by the European Social Charter.

Source: LA INFORMACIÓN – Lo último by

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