Do I have the right to unemployment if my company applies it for the coronavirus?

Some companies have accepted (or have announced that they will) a Temporary Employment Regulation File due to the economic impact of the coronavirus. Here we explain what you are entitled to and what to do if you are affected by this measure.

The impact of the coronavirus on the economy has led several companies to announce extraordinary measures to mitigate the effects of the health crisis on their activity. One of those that can be adopted in exceptional situations is the Temporary Employment Regulation File , better known by its initials ERTE .

Based on this measure, included in the labor legislation, employers can suspend employment contracts or temporarily reduce the working hours of their workers. Of course, when there are justified causes for this .

In both cases, the worker will be legally unemployed .

Contract suspension

The Workers Statute states that the employment contract may be suspended, among other reasons, for “economic, technical, organizational or production” reasons, as well as for “temporary force majeure” causes .

These “force majeure” causes (such as natural disasters and other unforeseeable and unavoidable, such as an epidemic) must be endorsed by the labor authority , regardless of the number of employees affected, upon request by the company and in communication with the representatives of the workers.

Reduction of the working day

As for the possibility of reducing working hours, for this the economic, technical, organizational or production causes are also included as possible causes, and those caused by reasons of force majeure.

The reduction in working hours must be between 10 and 70% of the usual daily, weekly, monthly or annual working day. Like the worker affected by a suspension of the contract, those whose working hours are reduced are in a legal situation of unemployment.

Do I have the right to unemployment?

The worker affected by an ERTE, whether the contract is suspended or the workday is reduced, is entitled to unemployment benefit as long as they meet the requirements to access the benefit. The contribution to Social Security will be made for all contingencies, according to Work .

To access unemployment protection, the worker must have worked and paid unemployment for at least 360 days , within the six years prior to the legal unemployment situation and not have used the contributions of that period for a previous benefit.

If you have contributed for a period of less than 360 days, you will be able to receive the unemployment benefit if, in addition to meeting the rest of the required requirements, you do not have incomes above 75% of the current minimum wage .

In case of suspension of the contract , this must have been agreed in the corresponding procedure, be temporary and be caused by the aforementioned economic, technical, organizational, production, or force majeure causes.

In the event that the working day is reduced , it must have temporarily decreased between 10 and 70% , with a similar reduction in salary, be agreed in the corresponding procedure and be, again, caused by economic, technical causes, organizational or production.

The duration of the contributory benefit for collective dismissal will depend on the time paid. If it is due to suspension of the contract or reduction of the working day, it will also depend on the duration of the measure in question .

The daily amount of the benefit for the first 180 days will be 70% of the regulatory base; from day 181 until the end of the benefit will be 50%. If unemployment were partial, the worker will receive the part proportional to the hours in which he is unemployed or unemployed.

In cases of suspension or reduction of working hours, the company continues to be obliged to pay 100% of the business contribution to Social Security contributions .

How do I request the benefit?

In this link of the Public State Employment Service (SEPE) you can consult the necessary documentation to request the benefit and the deadlines in which you must do so. Given that it is recommended at this time to avoid crowded places and unnecessary travel, you can submit the request in person, through this link .