Urgent extraordinary measures to front the economic and social impact of COVID-19.

Around 7am this morning the Government published the Royal Decree Law 8/2020 17th March, urgent extraordinary measures to front the economic and social impact of COVID-19.

Following highlights:

–        Water, Electric and gas companies may not suspend supplies during one month of this publication.

–        ‘Teletrabajo’ must be a priority for companies to make available to all employees where possible.

–        Any employee who has to take care of a family member to the second degree or spouse victim of COVID-19 has the right to adapt their contracted working hours and reduction of the same.  This also applies if due to the COVID-19 they find themselves in a situation of having to care for them also.  This request must be communicated to the Employer 24 hours beforehand.

–        Moratorium of mortgage payments permitted for residential home if suffering extraordinary difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.  The mortgage prepayment must be more than 35% of the “family’s” joint income and fall of more than 40% in income.  The finance entity has a period of 15 days after this publication to apply for a default on mortgage payments.  Once submitted, the finance entity has another 15 days to grant the moratorium.

–        Should the state of alarm last for more than one month and the self-employed and their activities are suspended or 75% of their income has reduce from the previous six months then they will be entitled to an extraordinary payment from the Government.  Social security payments must be up to date.

–        Any suspension or reduction of working hours that has to be applied due to the COVID -19 because business had to be closed will be considered as consequences due to a force majeure.  This must be applied for via an ERTE, and the authorities have 5 days to answer the application.  If granted, the employer will be exonerated from paying the employees social security as well as their wage if the contracts are suspended.  The employee will be entitled to unemployment benefit during this period, so long as they have paid the minimum social security required.

–        Credit lines available for low interest loans.

–        Tax payments have been suspended until the 30th April, as well as any period granted to attend to a notification received from the Tax Authorities.