On 11 May, the Spanish government, the CCOO and UGT trade unions and the CEOE and Cepyme employer confederations signed an agreement on an extension of the temporary employment regulation plans (ERTEs, equivalent of partial unemployment) for force majeure, which were put in place at the start of the lockdown to help companies cope with declines in business, sales and production resulting from the Covid-19 health crisis, until 30 June. The text provides for both the maintaining of the shutdown and the partial resumption of activity, as the country enters a process of phased exit from lockdown. It also opens up the possibility of extending the ERTEs beyond 30 June, in sectors of activity that are particularly affected by the restrictions imposed as a result of the health crisis. Exemptions from social security contributions have been extended and the agreement provides for a ban on the payment of dividends for 2019 by companies using short-time working. This agreement is soon to be included in a decree-law.
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