The year 2020 closes with a total of 755,613 people covered by a temporary employment regulation file (ERTE), which represents an increase of just over 8,000 workers compared to November but a reduction of almost 80% compared to the month April, when there were about 3.5 million people benefiting from this mechanism, the Ministry reported this Tuesday of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations. However, they need from the ministry, if takes into account the revised series based on the persons registered affected, the data at the end of the year is lower by more than 95,000 people than in November.
The portfolio led by José Luis Escrivá has highlighted that these figures maintain the path of “stabilization” that began in September, despite the restrictions that were adopted to contain the second wave of the pandemic. Thus, on average and according to the series by discharge date, in the month of December there were 782,915 people in ERTE, compared to 865,677 in the revised series of the previous month and 676,905 in October.
The Ministry has also indicated that this stabilization of the workers affected by ERTE is the result of the “transfer” of the ERTE in force before the last extension to the new schemes included in the new regulation that extended this protection until January 31, 2021, and whose extension will have to be negotiated within the social dialogue.
Thus, of the total number of workers in ERTE with whom the year ended, 295,914 belong to the old format, a figure that represents some 36,000 fewer workers than in November. For its part, the number of people included in the new ERTE, with special exemptions for ultra-protected sectors and coverage for those companies affected by the administrative restrictions, totaled 459,699 workers at the end of 2020.
By geographical location, the two Canary Islands provinces have the highest percentage of affiliates under some form of ERTE. The province of Las Palmas closed the year with 45,100 protected people, 13% of its affiliates, while Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the second, with 34,106 people, 11% of the total. The third was the Balearic Islands, with 9.9% of workers affected. At the opposite extreme are Castellón, Badajoz and Guadalajara, where the percentage of affiliates protected by some modality ended the year 2020 below 2%.
This Tuesday, Work has reported that spending on total benefits stood in November (last month available) at 2,430 million euros, accumulating an amount greater than 35,320 million between December 2019 and November 2020. Of this amount , a total of 14,173 million euros have been used to pay for ERTE. In turn, a total of 8,078,758 people received some type of unemployment benefit at some point in 2020, reaching the monthly maximum in May, with almost 6 million beneficiaries.
No one doubts that without this employment protection mechanism the collapse in Social Security membership would have plummeted. Thus, throughout 2020, and without including those affected by ERTE in this group, around 360,000 affiliates have been lost. The data for the month of December, a traditionally good period for employment due to the Christmas campaign, tourism and the olive harvest, have not been entirely flattering, leaving 36,800 more unemployed, the first increase in unemployment in the twelfth month of the year since 2009.
However, if the employment created in December (26,400 new contributors) and the workers who left the ERTE (82,800) are added, the effective number of affiliated with Social Security grew by 109,000 people, the best figure in the historical series in this month of the year.
No big changes
The Government will not propose radical or “nuclear” changes to the social agents in the new extension of the ERTEs that entail exonerations to Social Security, and whose negotiations will restart this Friday, January 8, between employers, unions and the Ministries of Labor and Social Security.
The Secretary of State for Social Security, Israel Arroyo, has advanced that the possible changes in the different figures of the ERTE (due to impediment of activity, limitation of the same or directed to ultra-protected sectors such as tourism and hospitality) will be “parametric or nuance “.
“The commission will analyze the economic situation and the foreseeable evolution of the pandemic and employment in the coming months and based on these conclusions, the mechanism will be adapted, which in no case will be a radical change,” he said after recalling that the current ERTE They are a model that tends to focus, so “we are going to work in that line.” For his part, the Secretary of State for Employment, Joaquín Pérez Rey, pointed out that the ERTE model is already “well rehearsed and has been adapting to the evolution of the pandemic” so that “the key pieces of the model are already very consolidated “.