On 25 June, the Spanish government and social partners reached an agreement on the conditions for extending the short time working arrangements that were implemented when the state of alert was declared in the country and economic activity was paralysed by the Covid-19 pandemic. This second ‘social agreement in defence of employment’ comes after weeks of tense negotiations between Spain’s labour ministry, the CEOE and Cepyme employer confederations, and the CCOO and UGT trade unions. The agreement will be validated at an extraordinary Council of Ministers meeting today, on 26 June, for an immediate implementation via decree-law. It extends the temporary employment regulation plans (ERTEs, equivalent of short time working), which were introduced by decree on 18 March and extended on 11 May, until 30 September. However, the level of exemptions from employer contributions will be lower than has been in force until now. The issue of how long this latest extension would last, as well as the quantity of state support to help protect jobs, was at the heart of the discussions.
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