The Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, announced this Thursday that the ERTE will continue beyond May 31, the date on which the extension of the scheme that protects workers against dismissal expires. During an awards ceremony organized by the employers’ association of small and medium-sized companies (Cepyme), the third vice president has defended that the usefulness of the mechanism is proven, so that it will continue to work once the term ends “in a formula similar to that of current”.
Díaz has pointed out that the negotiations of the tripartite commission (formed by the Government, employers and unions) to deal with the matter will begin shortly. And he has insisted on the benefits of the democratization of the ERTE, recalling that until the pandemic, said instrument “had been reserved for large companies.”
The vice president has not specified what variations she intends to introduce. But within the government, voices have already emerged to change its design. Last week, the Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, called for a new extension focused on favoring “the reinstatement of workers” to their posts. “What we have to do is adjust the parameters to stimulate reactivation,” he said. His words coincided with the concern shown by a report by the Bank of Spain about the increasing difficulties in incorporating employees into the labor market. The entity doubts about the effectiveness of making a measure designed for times of crisis structural, although its studies on the issue are still in a very preliminary phase.
Diaz also compared the current crisis to the Great Recession of more than a decade ago. And he assured that this time the economy will better resist the challenge. “We came out of the previous crisis with a strong internal devaluation and some very damaged SMEs. Our response today is very different. We are going to accompany the recovery with better working conditions and we are going to go hand in hand with the SMEs ”.
In this 7th edition of the Cepyme awards, held at the Reina Sofía museum in Madrid, the vice president of said employer, Ángel Nicolás, lamented the climate of uncertainty that companies have suffered for more than a year, defended that they have lived up to of the health challenge, and called for the recovery of the word entrepreneur, “today relegated only to messages of negativity.”
“Stability and moderation”
The president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, expressed his hope that the combination of vaccination campaigns and the arrival of European funds will serve to underpin the recovery, but these two factors were joined by a third, more political one. In full polarization of the public debate, Garamendi called for “stability and moderation” around the law, the rule of law and the Constitution.
The act was closed by King Felipe VI. In his speech, the monarch recalled that small and medium-sized companies account for more than 60% of wealth and 70% of employment. “SMEs are the basis of the Spanish economy. Therefore, talking about SMEs is talking about society ”, he stated. In addition, he praised the adaptability of entrepreneurs and freelancers during confinement, especially with the acceleration of digitization. “It is appropriate to emphasize and value how the businessmen have reacted in these long months. Many of you have explained to me that the most difficult thing is to deal with uncertainty, not being able to plan the next months and weeks ”, he pointed out.
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