Among the labour measures approved by the government within the plan for stimulating economy and employment and alleviating the effects of the current economic crisis, last 8th March 2009 came into force Royal Decree - law 2/2009, of 6th March.
Among the envisaged measures, we highlight the following:
I. Measures for the maintenance of employment (benefits of the corporate contributions to Social Security):
a) Labour Force Adjustment Plan (Spanish ERE) for the suspension of labour contracts or working time reduction, submitted from 1st October 2008 until 31st December 2009.
- 50% bonus (discount) on the corporate contributions to be paid to Social Security for common contingencies. The duration of this benefit will coincide with the situation of unemployment, with the limit of 240 days per employee.
- As main requirement to obtain the discount, the employer will have to commit to keep the employment of the affected employees during, at least, the year after the suspension or the authorised reduction; otherwise, the employer should reimburse the enjoyed benefit, and may be sanctioned according to the Law of Infringements and Sanctions of social order.
- Those benefits are compatible with other grants, provided that they do not exceed 100% of the corporate contributions to the Social Security.
b) Hiring of employees dismissed due to a Labour Force Adjustment Plan:
- 100% discount on common contingencies if the employee receives unemployment benefits, up to the maximum amount of the benefit the employee was to receive at the date of the contract, with a maximum duration of this benefit of three years.
c) Concerning Social Security Special Agreement when the Company is not in a bankruptcy proceeding and terminates contracts by means of a Labour Force Adjustment Plan:
Until the employee is 61 years old, the contributions will be borne by the employer and will be paid into the Social Security Treasury. Once the employee is 61 years old, the contributions to the Special Agreement will be compulsory and will be borne by the employee, having to pay them according to the Agreement.
Basically, the amendment establishes that if during the period of the Special Agreement, the employee under the Labour Force Adjustment Plan carries out an activity that contributes to the Social Security, the contributions of the Agreement that match with the ones corresponding to the activity carried out will be applied to the payment of the Special Agreement during the period that the obligation to pay the contributions falls on the employee (as of 61 years old).
II. Measures for the protection of unemployed people:
When by means of a Labour Force Adjustment Plan the suspension of labour contracts or the reduction of the number of hours of the working time is authorised, if afterwards the contractual relationship is terminated due to administrative resolution authorizing a Labour Force Adjustment Plan, due to a judicial resolution through a insolvency proceeding or due to an objective individual dismissal, the affected employees will be entitled to the replacement of the duration of the unemployment benefit for the same number of days that they would have perceived for the total or partial unemployment, with a maximum of 120 days. This right will only take place when the administrative or judicial resolutions are dated between 1st October 2008 and 31st December 2009.
III. Measures for the promotion of the employment:
The employers who hire unemployed employees enjoying unemployment benefits until the 31st December 2009 will be entitled to receive a 100 % discount in the corporate contributions to the Social Security for common contingencies until the amount of the benefits reaches an equivalent sum of the total gross contribution, without exceeding such benefit under any circumstances a duration of three years.
The information contained in this note should not be regarded in itself as specific advice on the matter discussed, but only a first approach to the subject. Therefore it is highly recommended that the recipients of this note search professional advice about their particular case before taking specific measures or actions.