07 Jan
erte spanish layoff temporary

Spain: Number of people on Temporary Lay-off Plans (ERTE) stands at 755,000 on 31 December 2020

Spain: The year 2020 closed with 755,613 people protected under a Temporary Lay-off Plan (Spanish acronym: ERTE), which means that the number of workers has remained stable since the month of September.

Compared with the close of November, a decline of 95,607 people has taken place when taking into account the revised series according to the number of people affected back in work.

On average, according to the date of people back in work, there were 782,915 people subject to an ERTE in the month of December, compared with 865,677 under the revised series for the previous month and 676,905 in October.

The stabilisation of the number of workers which began in September thus continues, despite the new administrative restrictions to tackle the second wave of the pandemic.

In quarterly terms, the fourth quarter closed with 774,182 people on an ERTE compared with 818,606 in the third quarter of the year, a reduction in excess of 5%, despite the second wave of the pandemic forcing the approval of major administrative restrictions in a good part of Spain.

Compared with the worst point of the crisis (end of April), the number of people on an ERTE has fallen by 2.86 million, which means that at the close of 2020 the number of people has fallen by 79%.

Kind of ERTE

61% are on an ERTE under Royal Decree-Law 30/2020. By type of ERTE, the transfer has continued from the ERTEs contained in Royal Decree-Law 18/2020 to those established in Royal Decree-Law 30/2020, in force as from 30 September. Accordingly, the number of people under the forms contained in Royal Decree-Law 30/2020, which are those that include exemptions from National Insurance contributions, account for 61% of the total.

Specifically, 62,197 people ended the year protected by an ERTE restricting them from working.

Those workers protected under this figure fell by more than 30,000 people over the course of December, due to the end of the administrative restriction measures in place in some autonomous regions.

Another 171,562 people were under the figure of an ERTE on limitations on work as at 31 December. In this case, there was a reduction over the course of December of 17,000 people compared with 30 November.

Another 175,555 workers were under an ERTE for ultra-protected sectors, which was set in motion on 30 September.

In this case, there were 10,000 fewer protected than at the end of the previous month. In addition, a further 50,385 workers are included under the ERTEs corresponding to the value chain in these ultra-protected sectors. In this case, the reduction compared with 30 November stands at 2,000 people.

Outside the modalities contained in Royal Decree-Law 30/2020, without exemptions from National Insurance contributions, 295,914 people are under an ERTE for force majeure, or an ERTE on objective grounds (Spanish acronym: ETOP), which is a reduction of 36,000 people compared with the end of the previous month.

Geographic and sector concentration of workers on an ERTE
The 755,613 workers on an ERTE at the end of 2020 account for 5.2% of contributors under the General Regime, although geographically they are highly concentrated.

The two Canary Island provinces are those that have the highest percentage of contributors under some form of ERTE. The province of Las Palmas closed 2020 with 45,100 people protected – 13% of all contributors – while Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the second highest, with 34,107 people protected – 11% of all contributors. In third position was the Balearic Islands, with 9.9% of workers affected, 30,986 people in total, as at 31 December.

At the other end of the scale come Castellon, Badajoz and Guadalajara, where the percentage of contributors protected under some form of ERTE ended the year 2020 below 2%.

There is also a significant sector concentration of people under some form of an ERTE. In absolute terms, hotel and catering (food and drinks services) concentrate practically one in every three people under an ERTE at the end of 2020, with 241,390 people, 30% of the contributors in the sector under the General Regime.

By: Estela Martín

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