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Spain: government and social partners prepare for end of lockdown
Planet Labor, 10 April 2020, n°11828 - www.planetlabor.com

Representatives of the CEOE and Cepyme employer organisations and of the CCOO and UGT trade unions have begun working with the government on an end to the period of lockdown, implemented to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. They are studying how to prepare for a “de-escalation” followed by a relaunch of economic activity, taking into account the particularities of each sector. The unions are calling for this recommencement to take place while guaranteeing the protection of workers. However, the deadline is still a long way off because the government, which voted in parliament to extend the state of alert until 26 April, has already warned that it will probably have to be extended for another fifteen days. In the meantime, after 14 days of complete paralysis, certain non-essential sectors of the economy, such as industry and construction, will resume activity from Monday 13 April. This partial restart marks the end of a “hard” phase during which the country was at a standstill, with only essential activities ongoing, since 30 March, in order to avoid as far as possible the movement of people. Employees were asked to stay at home, on ‘recoverable paid leave’ (see article n°11778). Despite this partial business relaunch, companies are still called to use remote working where possible, while hotels and non-essential businesses will remain closed. The return to work is taking place with a recommendation that hygienic masks be widely used and with trade unions calling for better protection for employees returning to work, especially those in contact with the public. The government, which recommends the widespread use of hygienic masks, has announced the distribution of masks for all employees in the transport sector.