Spain to extend COVID-19 furlough scheme until Jan 2021

Spain to extend COVID-19 furlough scheme until Jan 2021

A woman wearing a protective face mask takes a selfie next to an oversized model of a health worker
A woman wearing a protective face mask takes a selfie next to an oversized model of a health worker amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Madrid, Spain September 24, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/Files

MADRID: The Spanish government is due to approve on Tuesday (Sep 29) an extension to Jan 31 of the furlough scheme that supports hundreds of thousands of workers through the country's worst recession on record, a labour ministry source told Reuters.

With a new wave of COVID-19 cases hitting the economy hard, the ministry has reached an agreement with labour unions to extend the ERTE scheme, as furloughs are known in Spain, but still lacks the support of representatives of businesses, the source said.

Even though the main business lobby in Spain, CEOE, still has to approve the agreement, the cabinet will pass the extension of the scheme which was due to expire on Wednesday.

Millions of workers in Spain have benefited from the ERTE scheme from mid-March, when authorities imposed one of Europe's strictest lockdown to curb the novel coronavirus epidemic.

As restrictions were lifted in late June, many returned to their jobs. But as of August more than 800,000 people were still getting ERTE benefits.

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Source: Reuters/nh

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