Spain

Almost 300,000 now back off ERTE

ONE of the key indicators that the Spanish are gradually getting back to work is the number of employees coming off their ERTE payments, almost 300,000 as at the 12 May, the latest figures available. The emergency government payments were awarded under “force majerure” (unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract) due to the coronavirus outbreak and sudden closure or partial shutdown of many businesses both small and large.

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There is not a set pattern to the returns depending on the region (and what Phase of the de-escalation it is in), job type and employer interpretation. At the end of April about 3.3 million employees were on partial or complete ERTE schemes, a number that has ebbed and flown since but now appears set to continue falling. To further confuse matters some workers have left their jobs altogether from industries such as the travel sector, which expect to be affected longer term, reporting younger staff in particular looking for new means of employment, often seasonal work.

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