THE Spanish Government has said it will extend its ERTE schemes until September 30.

The financial programmes, which allow employers to lay off or temporarily suspend workers during crises are set to expire on June 30.

But officials from the Ministry of Labor have tabled a draft Royal Decree-law that proposes to renew them for another three months.

Government ministers have today been locked in talks with the UGT and CCOO unions, as well as some of the country’s largest employers.

Finance Minister Maria Jesus Montero said her Government had ‘great confidence’ that an agreement would be reached.

It comes as leading Spanish multinationals piled pressure on the Government on Monday to secure an ERTE extension.

Pablo Isla from Inditex and Mercadona founder Juan Roig were among those calling on the Government to extend ERTE at the key CEOE summit yesterday.

Montero said: “The Government understands that the expectations of the industrial and business sector are broad.

“Social dialogue takes precedent. The Government is going to do its part to ensure that the agreements take place.”

The Ministry of Labour’s new ERTE offer is different to the one agreed in May and is more limited in scope.

There will now no longer be automatic extensions to ERTE for sectors whose full activity was ‘limited or prevented’ by the coronavirus pandemic.

It is also understood that the new ERTE agreement will slowly phase out the exemptions of companies paying Social Security contributions.

Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz encouraged the unions and employers to reach an agreement with the Council of Ministers today.

However employers stressed that it would be ‘difficult’ to thrash out a deal in such a short time-frame and called for more ‘flexibility’ from those at the top.

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