New black smoke in a negotiation to extend the ERTE derived from the coronavirus crisis that will last until the last minute. After the failure of the meeting on Monday between the Government, employers and unions, the Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá -the only one who continues to put buts to the agreement-, sent a new proposal overnight to the social agents. And this Tuesday morning the employers have unanimously decided to reject it, which leads the Executive to have to rush the deadlines to agree and approve the new extension.
The only point of dissent between Escrivá, on the one hand, and unions and employers on the other – supported in this matter by the Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz-, revolves around exemptions in the payment of workers’ fees enjoyed by companies under an ERTE. The head of Social Security advocates reducing the exemptions to companies that keep workers in ERTE and give priority to those that are reincorporating employees to the activity. And businessmen and union centrals are categorically opposed.
What both unions and, above all, employers argue is that companies are the first interested in reincorporating their workers because that implies that they need them, given that their level of activity is growing. And therefore, as they argue, penalize companies that keep employees in ERTE -the consequence of giving priority to those that return workers to activity- It only hurts the sectors that are experiencing the worst and, paradoxically, it hinders their return to normality.
Therefore, and after meeting during the morning, the CEOE decided to reject Escrivá’s latest proposal because, although it made certain changes in relation to the amount of exemptions, “it continues to focus aid on activation instead of workers who cannot yet join the activity.” The unions have not yet spoken, but in this matter they have made a common front with the employers.
With his offer, Escriva intended that the new extension of the ERTE could be approved in the Council of Ministers this Tuesday, the last ordinary one before the current extension of the files ends on Monday, May 31. In no case is the possibility that the ERTEs are not extended until September 30 is on the table. But, if the Government wants to do it with agreement, will have to negotiate in extremis and convene an extraordinary Council of Ministers to approve the extension.