The Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, is clear: “The ERTE are here to stay.” He assured it a few weeks ago and confirmed it this Friday at the event held in La Moncloa with the first swords of the bosses and the unions to stage their commitment to social dialogue with a view to designing and developing future plans for economic reconstruction to leave of the crisis. As a great novelty, the Executive leader has proposed the establishment of a permanent “shared contribution” model for temporary employment regulation files for economic, technical, organizational or production reasons.
During his speech in the gardens of La Moncloa, the Prime Minister made an appeal to make ERTE a “structural instrument” to promote internal flexibility of companies and job protection. In this sense, he has asked before the presidents of CEOE and Cepyme, Antonio Garamendi and Gerardo Cuerva, and the general secretaries of CCOO and UGT, Unai Sordo and Pepe Álvarez, in addition to a broad representation of the Council of Ministers, “to move towards a new permanent framework for regulation and co-financing of these instruments “.
In the document signed with the social agents – the ‘Pact for economic reactivation and for employment’ – it is recalled that “in order to facilitate the return to activity of companies and workers, it has been extended until September 30, 2020 a mechanism for the protection of workers and companies covered by Temporary Employment Regulatory Records, both by force majeure and for Economic, Technical, Organizational and Production (ETOP) causes “and urges” that it may serve as a transition towards a permanent model for the future “.
“The figure of the Temporary Employment Regulation File has been key in the COVID crisis, avoiding the unnecessary destruction of many jobs and helping to preserve human capital and the productive fabric that would have been difficult to substitute otherwise,” reads the document, which considers Especially relevant is the fact that a figure whose origin is in heavily industrial economies and large companies has been able to be extended as quickly and efficiently to a service and SME economy as that of Spain. “This should serve as an important element of analysis to reflect on the opportunity to have instruments of internal flexibility in the face of job destruction,” added the social partners.
In this sense, the signatories commit to work on the development of “an adequate framework of shared contribution for the Temporary Employment Regulatory Files for Economic, Technical, Organizational and Production causes, in order to consolidate their role for adaptation of our economy, in line with other European countries, protecting the productive fabric, employment and workers within a framework of greater legal certainty, less vulnerability and volatility and a greater contribution to economic stability. “
It is the great novelty of a document that was expected to be quite generic. The six-page text talks about “reactivating, immediately, the already established Social Dialogue tables and incorporating measures aimed at job creation.” The objective is to address the commitments contained in the document, ranging from promoting the reinstatement of workers in ERTE through adjustments in schedules to the development of a legislative framework for teleworking. It is also committed to an Industry Pact, to promoting the ecological transition and digitization, to modernizing active employment policies and to strengthening the fight against fraud and the shadow economy.
One nuance, the text includes the need to modernize the labor framework “in order to minimize the impact on employment of future crises”, but there is no reference to the PP’s labor reform or its repeal. Sources of social dialogue explain that the document is more a declaration of intent than a compilation of measures to be adopted and that each issue will have to be embroidered at the different tables that are set up and with the ministerial representatives that correspond to each area.
In this sense, during his speech Unai Sordo has expressed the need to “correct a labor model that historically has shown serious deficiencies to get out of the precarious hiring and dismissal as a way of adjusting companies.” The business side, however, has used the occasion to express its rejection of the Government’s fiscal plan. Cuerva has warned Sánchez that “the rise in taxes on large companies also affects small ones and can hinder economic growth and investment” and Garamendi has stated that now is not the time to open the tax debate and has stressed that what you have to do is combat the underground economy.