TOWARD THE NEW NORMAL, CORONAVIRUS UPDATE IN SPAIN: (1) The Extension of the State of Emergency, and the Social Pact on Employment Regulation


The signing of the extension of Temporary Employment Lay-Off Plans, a historic Social Agreement to
Defend Jobs within the framework of  the Transition Plan towards a New Normality, 11 May
2020. The  President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, presided over the signing.
From left to right: Vice-President and Minister of Social Rights,Pablo Iglesias;
Pedro Sánchez;  Secretary  General of the labor union  CCOO,
Unai  Sordo; president  of the Confederation of Business
Organizations (CEOE), Antonio Garamendi;
Secretary  General of the labor
union UGT, Pepe Álvarez; and president of  the  Confederation
of Small  and Medium Businesses (CEPYME), Gerardo Cuerva.


A Guidepost Report

The extension of the State of Emergency, and the Social Pact on Employment Regulation

The Spanish Government has extended the State of Emergency until until 24 May and agrees on de-escalation procedure.
Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Friday 8 May 2020

The extraordinary Council of Ministers, 8 May 2020, with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez presiding, center left, and the presence of some of the ministers. Others joined the Council via teleconference. During the meeting, the extension of the State of Alarm and its de-escalation, as well as the post-State of Alarm Economic and Social Plan, have been taken up.

The Council of Ministers, which is the collective decision-making body of the Government of Spain, composed of the Prime Minister, the deputy prime ministers and the ministers, has approved the extension of the Estado de Alarma (State of Emergency)  until midnight on 24 May after receiving the regulatory authorization of the Lower House of Parliament.

Minister of Treasury and Spokesperson of the Government María Jesús Montero, left, and Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, during their joint press conference.

In a joint press conference held at the Moncloa Palace, seat of Spain’s Central Government and office of the Presidency, by the Minister of the Treasury and Government Spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, and the Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, the former said that it is essential to maintain the State of Emergency to protect public health, insure progress in containing the coronavirus and impllement an increasing de-escalation (desescalada) of the lockdown. Accordingly, she urged people to continue maintaining social distance and to practice personal hygiene and protection. “This individual commitment is what will really help us to win collectively, to halt the virus and to gradually recover our activities and our daily lives,” she said.

The Minister of Treasury talks about the Transition Plan towards a New Normality

According to Montero, the extended State of Emergency includes stepping up co-governance with the regional governments in order to develop the Transition Plan towards a New Normality. The de-escalation consists of four phases (Phases 1 to 4) which involves an ever-increasing loosening up of the lockdown. The phases are activated on the basis of health, epidemiological, social, economic and mobility indicators. The start of each phase is decided by the Minister of Health in coordination with the regional governments whose presidents will be responsible for their implementation in the regions.


Social pact to extend ERTEs

For her part, the Minister of Labor and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, referred to the agreement between Central Government and the social stakeholders to extend Temporary Employment Lay-Off Plans (Expedientes de Regulación Temporal de Empleo or ERTEs) that have been put in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The ERTEs will remain in force until 30 June. It will maintain unemployment protection and implement exemption from National Insurance contributions.

Per Yolanda Díaz’s statement, the plan provides for collective cover for large and small companies, the self-employed, workers and the economy of the country during this very difficult time. In short, during the crisis of COVID-19, “no-one is left behind.”

Minister of Labor: “A social pact where no one is left behind.”

Díaz pointed out that the pact is good for business owners and workers alike and represents the commitment of the employers’ organizations and trade unions to what is good for the country: “They put their differences aside in order to forge an agreement that will try and save our country from a crisis that is both economic and social in nature.”

Díaz stressed that the agreement is a fair and balanced, weighing up the protection of workers during the gradual return to economic and labor activities. Moreover, it takes into account the special needs of those sectors that are in a delicate situation. It protects jobs and productive activity.

The Labor Minister has announced the creation of a tripartite committee, which will meet on the second Wednesday of each month, to define the sectors that will need assistance after the state of emergency is lifted. “We will carry out a sector-by-sector review and carefully look at what assistance they require,” she promised.
Source: La Moncloa Gobeirno de España


Pool Moncloa, La Moncloa Gobierno de España



Source: La Moncloa Gobierno de España

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, presided over the signing of the Social Agreement to Defend Jobs. This is a historic agreement that includes a raft of measures to protect jobs and productive activity to ensure that no one is left behind in the COVID-19 crisis.