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The Bank of Spain praises the effectiveness of the ERTEs, but asks to adapt them to the changes that the economy undergoes after the Covid


For the agency, the ERTEs have proven their effectiveness in curbing unemployment, although it asks the Government to adapt them in the face of the structural changes that the post-Covid economy will bring.

Pablo Hernndez de Cos and Yolanda Daz during the visit of the Minister to the Bank of Spain on March 16.
Twelve months after adapting labor regulations to use them en masse to balance economic hibernation, the Bank of Spain has given its blessing to the temporary employment regulation files (ERTE) as an “effective” tool to face economic stresses. that require labor adjustments within companies.

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The assessment of which, despite the administrative collapse when executing the services from the SEPE, happens to be one of the greatest successes in the management of the pandemic comes after a visit to Pablo Hernndez de Cos, Governor of the Bank of Spain of the Head of Labor and next Vice President, Yolanda Daz, and at the beginning of the negotiations to repeal the labor reform. Perhaps the only point on which all the actors involved in this reform agree is to turn ERTE into a permanent cost adjustment tool for companies in difficulty.

Although with the third wave of the pandemic the Bank of Spain went so far as to say that it was afraid that the effect of ERTE to save companies without destroying jobs would be diluted, it now considers that they have demonstrated “high effectiveness in facilitating return to employment after the measures of confinement and limitations to the activity of many sectors in the second quarter of last year “.

With the arrival of the pandemic in Spain in March of last year and the economic hibernation, the initial response of companies was to liquidate contracts and 300,000 jobs were destroyed in just two weeks. Already in April and May, the use of ERTEs to face mobility restrictions was massive and reached a peak of 3.4 million workers whose contracts were suspended. Without registering as unemployed, they began to receive a public benefit of 70% of their base salary until their companies reinstated them.

The Bank of Spain measures the effectiveness of ERTEs to save jobs based on the statistics of job registrations from job suspensions or the registration of unemployment. Your data indicates that those who were in ERTE in the second quarter of the year returned to the activity with up to 30 percentage points more possibilities more than those who had been fired.

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However, the longer the ERTE was lengthened, the less difference there was between the two options. For those who saw their employment suspended until the third quarter, the advantage had been reduced by almost half: 16 percentage points. However, the loss of momentum of the economy in the final stretch of the year reduced even more, up to 9%, the advantages of having been in ERTE to find a job. It is also true that in the third quarter the number of workers protected by this measure was very close to the 700,000 affected, which has not dropped for a year.

The analysis of the Bank of Spain indicates that, in addition, there are differences between the profiles that the labor market has incorporated more frequently. With major and minor differences, this profile will be that of a man over 45 years of age with a permanent contract, a level of primary education and a contract in sectors such as industry or construction.

The conclusion of the body led by Pablo Hernndez de Cos is that, in the short term, the Government should “focus” the maintenance of the aid in the most affected sectors, including the training of workers as a factor of this support. In addition, it recommends that Daz adapt the current definition of ERTEs so that they are more equitable in allowing the affected employees to return to work and to face the “structural changes” that will occur in the world of work after the pandemic, already in economic recovery. From sectors such as industry, the cost of jobs has already been publicly warned that it will have an excessively radical shift towards sustainable energy.

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