The measures established last March for those affected by the cessation of activity or the drop in their turnover have been extended until September 30, 2020 .

Exemption Social Security contributions
The agreement reached with the Autonomo associations states that self-employed workers who were collecting the extraordinary benefit, which included financial assistance equivalent to 70% of the regulatory base and an exemption from contributions, will not pay the quota of July and will have an exemption of 50% in August and 25% in September. You can be in receipt of sick pay and benefit from the discounts, as long as you are in a situation where the contributions are compulsory. Instead of receiving the discounts on Social Security contributions, you can apply for ordinary ‘paro’ for ‘cese de actividad’.

There are now two kinds of ‘paro’ for Autonomos. The ‘extraordinary benefit‘ that was available until the end of June and will now become available for seasonal Autonomos and the ‘ordinary benefit‘ that usually only is available for those that actually arrange for their de-registration as Autonomo ‘cese de actividad’  (if they have sufficient work/contribution history to receive it), but will now be available for Autonomos that were already receiving the extraordinary ‘paro’ till the end of June provided they meet certain requisites. But it’s an ‘either, or’ situation. You cannot receive this ordinary ‘paro’ AND a discount on your social security contributions. They are not compatible.

Requisites to apply for ‘ordinary paro’:
* You must have been receiving the ‘extraordinary paro’ till the 30th of June.
* You must have been a registered Autonomo for at least one year as only then you will have built up sufficient entitlement to receive ordinary ‘paro’ to cover the months of July, August and September.
* You cannot have reached the age to receive a contributive pension, unless you do not have sufficient contributing years to receive it.
* You cannot be in debt/arrears with the Seguridad Social, or arrange to settle your debt/arrears within 30 days.
* You must be able to prove a drop in turnover of 75% in this third quarter compared to the same period last year.
* Your net proceeds in the third quarter of 2020 cannot be more than 5.818,75 euros. To determine the right to the monthly benefit, the net returns will be prorated for the quarter, not exceeding 1,939.58 euros per month.
* If you have employees, you will need to supply a ‘responsible declaration’ that you are in compliance with all labour and social security obligation. You can be asked to accredit this with further documentation.
* After the 30th of September you can only continue to receive this ‘ordinary paro’ if you arrange for your actual ‘baja for case de actividad’ from the register for Autonomos. And it will depend on your contribution history, for how long you will be able to receive it. (12-17 months: 4 months, 18-23 months: 6 months, 24-29 months: 8 months, 30-35 months: 10 months etc. Max. 24 months if contributed for at least 48 months.)
* While in receipt of this ‘ordinary paro’ you will need to pay the regular monthly Seguridad Social contributions, but you will receive a refund for the part that refers to ‘common contingencies’ (note from CAB: the largest part) from your Mutua. As they would have had to pay this to the Seguridad Social in a regular situation of ‘cese de actividad’.
* You can renounce the benefit at any time before the 31st of August, taking effect as of the month after the communication.
* You can voluntarily refund the benefit received if you perceive that in a particular month your income exceeds the limits established or when your invoices amount to more than 25% of the income in the same period last year, without having to wait for the request to do so.

Where and when to apply
The Mutuas will process all applications. If you apply before the 15th of July, the application will have a retroactive effect as of the 1st of July. If you apply after, the application will have effect as of the day after your application.

The Mutuas will be required to provide proof, in October this year, that you met the requisites to receive this ‘paro’. With your consent, they will check telematically, but if they have problems accessing your data, you can be required to provide copies of relevant tax declarations within a window of 10 days.

New ‘extraordinary paro’ for seasonal freelancers
Minister Montero has underlined the approval of a new extraordinary benefit ‘paro’ for seasonal freelancers – “traditionally forgotten” – of up to 70% of the minimum contribution base. This aid will begin to accrue in June and will have a maximum duration of 4 months.

Requisites:
* You need to accredit that in the past 2 years you were solely dependent on income from seasonal activities as Autonomo, while registered in the period from March to October, for at least 5 months in both 2018 and 2019.
* If you worked as employee as well, you cannot have been working or receiving unemployment benefits for more than 120 days in the period of March 1 2018 and March 1 2020.
* You cannot have developed any activity or have been registered ‘de alta’ or as ‘assimilated alta’ (situation of legal unemployment) in the months of March, April, May and June 2020.
* You cannot have received any unemployment benefits in the period of January – June 2020, unless they were compatible with activities as Autonomo.
* Maximum income for 2020 cannot exceed 23.275 euros.
* You cannot be in debt/arrears with the Seguridad Social, or settle your debt/arrears within 30 days.

Amount and duration
* 70% of your ‘base reguladora’ for a maximum of 4 months.
* If you file your application with your Mutua before the 15th of July, it will have a retroactive effect as of the first of June. If after that date, as of the day following your application date. You can apply as of now till the end of October.
* While in receipt of the special ‘paro’ you will be exempt of paying Social Security contributions, your Mutua will do that in your stead.
* This benefit will be incompatible with work as employee and with any Social Security benefit that the beneficiary was receiving unless it was compatible with the performance of the activity as a self-employed worker. Likewise it
will be incompatible with self-employment when the income received during the year 2020 exceeds 23,275 euros.
* Members of associated work cooperatives who have chosen for their inclusion as self-employed workers in the special regime are equally entitled to this extraordinary benefit, provided that they meet the requirements.
* You can renounce the benefit at any time before the 31st of August, taking effect as of the month after the communication.
* You can voluntarily refund the benefit received if you perceive that in a particular month your income exceeds the limits established or when your invoices amount to more than 25% of the income in the same period last year, without having to wait for the request to do so.

The Mutuas will be required to provide proof, as of the 31st of January 2021, that you met the requisites to receive this ‘paro’. With your consent, they will check telematically, but if they have problems accessing your data, you can be required to provide copies of relevant tax declarations within a window of 10 days.

Many Autonomous and Local Governments also have alleviating measures in place. Please make sure you stay informed by consulting their websites or facebook pages regularly. We published an article some time ago.

Disclaimer: this is a summary of the Royal Decree published in the State Gazette on the 27th of June and not pretending to be exhaustive or complete. Please turn to your gestor or accountant for guidance, or your Mutua directly.