Labor will prohibit the dismissal of companies that allege losses due to the rise in light | Economy

The Second Vice President of the Government and Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, during a meeting on March 25.
The Second Vice President of the Government and Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, during a meeting on March 25.Isabel Infantes (Europe Press)

The pandemic generated unprecedented chaos in the economy, but the solutions to contain the blow have given a certain degree of experience to the authorities, who now, faced with the spike in prices as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, are once again resort to them as a containment measure. This is the case of the prohibition of objective dismissals, one of the measures that make up the labor block of the National Response Plan to the impact of the war that this Monday the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, advanced, and that will be formally approved in the Council of Ministers on Tuesday. Despite the fact that the final design of the aid package will not be resolved until the Executive meeting concludes, some of the reasons that will not serve as justification for dismissal are known, such as the increase in the electricity bill .

Sources from the Ministry of Labor assure that the recovery of this measure implemented during the worst moments of the pandemic is due to the fact that “it has not only served to maintain employment, but to create it.” Hence, once again, in a delicate situation like the current one, the department headed by Yolanda Díaz has decided to implement this employment defense mechanism, despite the fact that it is much more complicated for the Government to establish a scale by which to define what situations there is truly a direct influence of the war on the economic situation of companies that show losses and want to resort to dismissal. Preventing rising energy costs from being a reason is the main objective.

For this reason, although Labor recognizes difficulties in delimiting this line of influence, they have established a general framework on which this prohibition will govern: public intervention. That is, those companies that benefit from the direct aid contemplated in the royal decree that is approved this Tuesday will not be able to do without their workers. If they do so, not only will they stop receiving them, but they must return the amount received, and, in addition, if the worker decides to go to court, they could declare the dismissal as null or unfair. In the first case, the employee would be reinstated, and in the second case, compensation would go from 20 to 33 days per year worked, which would clearly make it more expensive for him to leave.

With the coronavirus, companies had an easier time justifying their impact. A bar that had, for example, limited capacity by administrative decision could clearly demonstrate the losses it experienced for reasons that prevented it from carrying out its normal activity. With the effects that the war has had on the economy, this exercise is more complicated. However, the increase in energy prices, and, singularly, that of the electricity bill, will not serve as a sufficient basis to be able to do without a worker. And it is that electricity has been experiencing record rises since before Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine.

NETWORK mechanism

Those companies that are in a delicate situation will have a range of temporary employment regulation files (ERTE) to hold onto to get around the pothole. Despite the fact that as of April 1 – when the one-month extension established by the Government ends – the ERTE due to covid-19 will disappear, therefore, the virus will no longer be considered a force majeure reason, for those companies that continue to be unable to function for unforeseen reasons and beyond the employer’s control, they will continue to be available. The same as for those businesses that are affected by economic, technical, operational or production (ETOP) causes.

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However, after the labor reform, it is the RED Employment Flexibility and Stabilization Mechanism that has as its main objective to protect companies or sectors that are particularly disadvantaged, such as travel agencies, which will be the ones with which they will train next April 1st. The RED Mechanism contemplates two modalities of new structural ERTE: in the event that it derives from cyclical effects (when a general macroeconomic situation is appreciated that advises the adoption of additional stabilization instruments), the bonuses may be extended up to a maximum of one year , and will be 60% in the first four months; 30% in the next four and 20% in the final four.

In the event that there are sectoral reasons (when in a certain sector or sectors of activity there are permanent changes that generate needs for retraining and professional transition processes for workers), these may be extended up to a maximum of two years, having a bonus of 40%.

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