official unemployment figures are worrying

SPAIN has made it illegal to fire workers during the coronavirus crisis. 

The new measure was passed today and came into effect immediately.

The law will not be retroactive, however, meaning those who have already been fired will not be given their jobs back.

Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz said the law states that even if there are economic or production issues or problems out of the company’s control (i.e. COVID-19), dismissing of employees is prohibited.

“You cannot take advantage of COVID-19 to fire workers,” Diaz said, adding that companies can file for temporary layoffs instead, which are processed in a maximum of five days.

“It is not necessary to fire anyone,” she added.

The social package passed today also states that temporary contracts cannot be cancelled.

They may be interrupted during the crisis but must be resumed after the end of the lockdown period.

The package has come after the UGT and CCOO worker unions warned the government that up to one million workers could lose their jobs in March alone.

Three quarters of those were predicted to be those with temporary contracts.

The filing for temporary job loss (ERTE) will also be made easier, with a simple form being enough to gain access to the funds.

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