We hereby inform you of two decisions adopted by the regional Government in sanitary and labour matters:
a) Decision of 18 August, which changes various sanitary measures affecting commercial activities and businesses, due to recent COVID-19 outbreaks. Among them:
– The consumption of tobacco on the street or in the open air is not allowed when a minimum interpersonal distance of at least two metres cannot be respected.
– Premises must display their maximum capacity, including their own employees, to the public, as well as “ensure that this capacity and interpersonal distance are respected”. They must also display “the opening hours, the obligation to observe the minimum interpersonal distance and the obligation to wear a mask, if applicable”.
– As for bars and restaurants:
o The maximum capacity is maintained at 75 % inside the premises, arranging the tables in such a way as to guarantee an interpersonal distance of 1.50 m., a distance that will also apply to their terraces.
o Regarding opening hours, the closing time may not exceed 1:00, and no new customers will be allowed after 00:00. The use of the bars will only be allowed until 22:00.
o The maximum occupation will be 10 people per table or group of tables.o The use of tobacco inhalation devices, pipes, bongos or similar is prohibited.
o The activity of night clubs, dance halls, discotheques, café-concerts and cocktail bars is suspended, as well as similar activities in any other type of premises, including swimming pools, outdoor facilities or boats [in force until 02/09, although it may be extended].
o It is not allowed to dispense or serve beverages in containers suitable for direct consumption from the container when they have a capacity of more than 600 cubic centimeters, as well as the use and provision of straws if they are longer than 30 centimeters.
o With certain exceptions, self-service food and drink will continue to be assisted.
– “Massively attended” events must have administrative authorization.
– Visits to nursing homes are limited to one person per resident, with a maximum of one hour per day [in force until 17/09].
– Limitations are established for the realization of team and contact sports training [in force until 02/09]. Sports competitions may be resumed from 1 October (or earlier if there is administrative authorisation), “as long as conditions allow”, and with capacity limitations.
b) Instruction of 24 August on “ERTE/Procedure for the Temporary Suspension of Employment due to force majeure caused by new outbreak”. Businesses that are “prevented from carrying out their activity” in any or all of their work centres as a result of the adoption of new sanitary measures may request it; whether they already have an ERTE/Procedure for the Temporary Suspension of Employment in place, or had been granted one and have already renounced it, or have never requested one. The enabling causes expressly include the “absence of demand for tourism activity resulting from decisions taken, inter alia, by the European Union, government authorities of issuing countries, touroperating markets or air connectivity operators”, and “the confinement of
employees [. . . ] mandated by the relevant authorities”.
A new application for this such ERTE/Procedure for the Temporary Suspension of Employment must be made to the Labour Dept. of the Govern Balear. This Department, after obtaining a mandatory report from the Labour Inspectorate, will decide whether to approve it.
Likewise, the employer must submit a new collective application for unemployment benefits to the Employment Service in order to generate the right to extraordinary unemployment benefits for the employees. Employers must include all the employees of the work centre affected by the sanitary measures in this new ERTE/Procedure for the Temporary Suspension of Employment, including permanent discontinuous ones (with the limitations already established in previous regulations).
It is not necessary to renounce the initial ERTE/Procedure for the Temporary Suspension of Employment that may still be in forcé, if so. Thus, once this ERTE/Procedure for the Temporary Suspension of Employment due to force majeure caused by a new outbreak has finished, or the activity has been restarted, the employer will return to the ERTE/Procedure for the Temporary Suspension of Employment initially approved if the causes that justified it continue to exist, alomg with the reductions in Social Security contributions that may correspond to this initial ERTE/Procedure for the Temporary Suspension of Employment.
Employers may benefit from a reduction in the payment of its own Social Security contributions of 80 % of Social Security contributions generated from the time of the suspenson of the activity until 30 September, in the case of employers with fewer than 50 employees as of 29 February 2020; or 60 % in the case of 50 or more employees.
o Where appropriate, such reduction will be compatible with the 50 % reduction applicable to permanent discontinuous employees (although the resulting amount may not exceed 100 % of the employer’s Social Security contribution).
o In the case of employers benefiting for the first time from a reduction in Social Security contributions, the 6-month period of the commitment to maintain employment will start to be calculated from 27/06. As is the case for all ERTE/Procedure for the Temporary Suspension of Employment due to force majeure initially approved, the causes alleged by the employer to apply for this new type of ERTE/Procedure for the Temporary Suspension of Employment due to force majeure will not be understood to justify the termination of employment contracts or the dismissal of employees. Similarly, suspension of temporary contracts will result in the suspension of the term of the maximum duration of the contract.
Juan Miguel Ordina