02 Apr 2020

2nd April 2020

This latest Royal Decree has been published in the State Bulletin (BOE) on the 1st April adopting urgent complementary measures to deal with the social and economical impact of the COVID-19, which comes into force today, 2nd April.

It states that from March 14 to April 30, 2020, any appeals or economic-administrative claims to be presented to the Tax Administration where the period of one month to appeal had not ended on March 13th will begin from the 30th April 2020. This means that any cases, are automatically suspended and the remaining days to appeal will re-start on the 30th April.

Measures to support Self-employment

The Social Security Authority is able to grant exceptional moratoriums in the social security payments due to exceptional circumstance.

The requirements to be able to request this moratorium have been established through a Ministerial Order and stipulate the following for companies and self employed:

First, self employed and companies may request the deferral of social security to be paid in April to a reduced interest of 0.5%, interest seven times lower than what is normally is established. To access these deferrals, they must be companies or self-employed affected from and by the situation caused by COVID- 19. Therefore, companies and workers who benefit from these type deferrals cannot have another deferment already in place prior to COVID-19 and must have no debt outstanding.

If you wish to apply for this deferment then it must be requested during the first ten calendar days of April, to avoid the social security being issued.

On the other hand, a moratorium/suspension has been given to companies and freelancers of up to six months to pay the obligations with the Social Security. In this way, they can suspend their payment without interest or surcharges of the contributions that must be made in the months of May, June and July. These fees must be paid six months later. Those companies and self-employed who may not have the right to moratorium may also request the aforementioned postponement to the 0.5% during the payment periods of May and June.

The requirements to request this moratorium will be established at through a Ministerial Order and agile modes will be launched for communication of requests and response from the Administration.

The moratorium will not apply to companies that have been exempted from paying social contributions for their workers affected by ERTEs due to force majeure due to the coronavirus.

In addition, for self-employed workers who saw their activity suspended due to the entry into force of the decree of alarm and the right to cease activity from the March, surcharges have been eliminated that could correspond for the delay in the payment of the social security. To cover the rest of the days in March, these workers can request the extraordinary benefit for cessation of activity approved two weeks ago, which includes, a minimum benefit of 661 euros per month and the exemption in the payment of social contributions.

Clarification on maintaining staff after ERTE

With regards to the obligation to maintain staff for a period of 6 months from when the State of Emergency has been lifted due to the reduction of hours or suspension of contracts that has been applied during the COVID-19 crisis, this is understood to be voluntary to the company. Therefore, it will not be considered a breach of this obligation should the a member of staff leave of their own accord within these 6 months; be dismissed for disciplinary reasons, retirement or permanent disability. Neither will there be an obligation to renew a temporary contract that expires within these six months.

Supply flexibility for Small Companies and the self-employed

Small companies and the self employed will be allowed to temporarily suspend contracts with water, electricity and gas companies or modify their contracts without being subject to any penalties. Should they choose to cancel the supply, when they re-instate it there will be no additional cost.

Suspension of the eviction procedure and the commencement of the same, for vulnerable households who have no alternative housing.

Those eviction procedures that were in place before COVID-19 crisis have been suspended and no evictions can be launched during the maximum period of 6 months since this Royal Decree has been in place, always when the tenant can prove that it is not possible to find any alternative accommodation. The tenant will have to prove that they find themselves in a socially and economic vulnerable situation caused by the COVID -19 crisis.

Extraordinary extension rental contracts for residential homes

The tenant may request from the landlord an extraordinary extension on their rental contract for a maximum period of six months, within which the same terms and conditions established in the original contract will remain. This must be accepted by the landlord.

Mortgage debt moratorium

The mortgage debt or mortgage loans referred to in articles 7 to 16 ter of Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of 17th March, will be applied to the contracted mortgage debt or the mortgage loans associated with the acquisition of:
a) The habitual residence.
b) Properties affected by the economic activity carried out by the businessmen and professionals referred to in letter a) of article 16.1. c) Dwellings other than the usual one in a rental situation and for which the mortgagee, natural person, owner and lessor of said dwellings, has stopped receiving the rental income since the entry into force of the State of alarm decreed by Royal Decree 463 / 2020, of March 14, or stop receiving it until one month after the end of it.

Approval of a line of guarantees for covered by the State to finance tenants in situations of social and economic vulnerability as a consequence of the expansion of COVID-19.

In order to provide financial coverage to meet housing expenses by households in situations of social and economic vulnerability as a consequence of the expansion of COVID-19, an agreement with the Official Credit Institute (ICO) has been reached, for a period of up to fourteen years. This will allow the state to help applicants comply with their payment of the rent and will to cover a maximum amount of six months.
These temporary financing grants may be accessed by all tenants who are in a situation of vulnerable vulnerability as a consequence of the expansion of COVID-19.

New aid program to help minimize the economic and social impact of COVID-19 on rentals of regular homes.

1.- By Order of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda will be incorporated into the 2018- 2021 State Housing Plan regulated in Royal Decree 106/2018, of March 9, a new program of rental aid, called “Aid Program to contribute to minimizing the economic and social impact of COVID-19 on rents for regular housing”.

2.- The purpose of this program will be to grant rental aids, through direct award, to tenants of habitual residence who, as a consequence of the economic and social impact of COVID-19, have transitory problems to attend to the partial or total payment of the rent and fit in the assumptions of supervening economic and social vulnerability that are defined and that will include in any case, and as a minimum, the situations defined in article 5 of this royal decree-law.
Thus and without prejudice to other actions, this program will aim to face the difficulty in repaying those transitory financing aids contracted by vulnerable households that have not recovered from their situation of vulnerability as a consequence of the COVID crisis. -19 and that, therefore, they cannot face the repayment of said loans.

3.- Individuals who, in their capacity as tenants of habitual residence fit into the category of economic and social vulnerability referred to in the previous section, may benefit from the aid of this program, presenting transitory problems to attend the partial or total payment of the rental.

4.- The amount of this aid will be up to 900 euros per month and up to 100% of the rental income or, where appropriate, up to 100% of the principal and interest of the loan that has been subscribed withwhich the paid the rent of the habitual residence. The exact bodies of each Autonomous Community and the Cities of Ceuta and Melilla will determine the exact amount of these grants, within the limits established for this program.

Availability of pension plans in case of unemployment or cessation of activity derived from the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19.

During the period of six months from the entry into force of Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14, declaring the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19, the participants of pension plans may, exceptionally, give effect to their consolidated rights in the following cases:
a) Being in a legal situation of unemployment as a consequence of a temporary employment regulation file derived from the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19.
b) Being a business owner of establishments whose opening to the public has been suspended as a consequence of the provisions of article 10 of Royal Decree 463/2020, of March 14.
c) In the case of self-employed workers who had previously been integrated into a Social Security system as such and who have ceased their activity as a consequence of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19.