COVID-19: protection of temporary layoffs has been extended until March 31, 2022 and the new minimum wage and other social measures have been approved

Spain - 

Spain Labor and Employment Alert

The Government and social partners have reached an agreement to extend temporary layoffs and other relevant measures from a labor law standpoint. In addition, the increase in the minimum wage has been published in the Official State Gazette.

The key elements of the new labor legislation published are described below:

Extension of temporary layoffs and other measures

Royal Decree-law 2/2022 of February 22, 2022 on urgent measures for the protection of self-employed workers, transition to structural mechanisms to defend employment and the economic and social recovery of the island of La Palma and extension of certain measures to deal with persons in a socially and economically vulnerable situation has been published and comes into force on February 24, 2022. The main developments of this Royal Decree-Law are as follows:

  • Temporary layoffs as a result of COVID-19 that were in force on the date the law comes into force will be automatically extended until March 31, 2022. The measures provided for in Royal Decree 18/2021 have also been extended, notwithstanding the contribution-related relief set out below.
  • The percentage reductions in the employer’s share of contributions accrued in March 2022 specifically envisaged are as follows:

  • Unemployment protection measures for employees with permanent intermittent employment contracts have been extended until March 31, 2022.
  • The MECUIDA Plan will continue to be applicable until June 30, 2022.
  • Measures have been established to reduce working hours for childcare or persons subject to guardianship for adoption purposes or permanent fostering, due to cancer or other serious diseases that terminates upon reaching 18 years of age.
  • Extraordinary access to unemployment benefits by public performing artists that are not affected by a temporary layoff and exceptional unemployment subsidies for technical and auxiliary personnel in the culture sector have been extended.
  • Finally, the General Social Security Law has introduced the social protection of workers affected by a temporary layoff due to force majeure in the contributory unemployment benefit entitlement linked to those cases:
    • The amount of benefit to be received will be equal to 70% of the computation basis, for the entire period that the measure is in force.
    • Entitlement to the benefit will not involve using up contributions previously made for any purposes.
    • The individuals affected will be entitled to the contributory unemployment benefit, even if they have not met the minimum contribution period required.

Minimum wage increase

Royal Decree 152/2022, of February 22, 2022 has also been published, which determines the minimum wage for 2022 and increases it to €33.33 per day or €1,000 per month.

The effects of this increase have been backdated to January 1, 2022.