While their contract is suspended, employees can claim unemployment benefits.

The Workers’ Statute (Estatuto de los Trabajadores) defines bonus payments as:

Article 31. Bonus payments. Employees have the right to two bonus payments per year, one at Christmas and another in a month fixed by collective agreement or an agreement between the employer and legal representatives of the employees. The collective agreement shall also determine the amount paid in these bonus payments. However, it may be agreed in the collective agreement that these bonus payments are prorated over the twelve monthly payments.

The amount that an employee receives as a bonus payment shall be stipulated by the collective agreement.

While their contract is suspended or their working hours reduced by an ERTE, the proportional part of the bonus payment will not accrue as the contract has been suspended.

However, when the State Public Employment Service (SEPE) calculates benefits, the bonus payments are taken into account as they are part of the contribution base sent by the company.

The bonus payment will be reduced proportionately. A suspension ERTE is different to a reduction ERTE. In the first, employees will not accrue the right to bonus payments, while on a reduction ERTE they are calculated in proportion to the hours worked.

With respect to holidays, exactly the same criteria is applied as for bonus payments. This means that holidays are not accrued while suspended on an ERTE due to force majeure as work contracts are suspended.

Employees affected by ERTEs have the right to take holiday but any days off they have while on an ERTE do not count towards the amount of holiday they are entitled to. Consequently, employees will see their holiday days reduced in proportion to the time that they have not been providing their services.

ERTEs due to ETOP (financial, technical, organisational or production reasons) must take into account anything said on the issue during talks with the employees’ representatives (or the negotiating committee).

Should you have any questions regarding ERTE due to force majeure in Spain, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Inmaculada Pessini

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