Catalan family businesses call for temporary lay-offs to be extended to all the sectors and companies that need them

Amadeu Jori, president de l'ASCEF

Barcelona, September 07th, 2020.- The Catalan Association of Family Businesses (ASCEF) has asked the Spanish government to expand temporary lay-offs (known as ERTEs in Spanish) to all economic sectors, not just those regarded as having been most affected by the pandemic, such as tourism.

In the view of ASCEF’s President, Amadeu Jori, this extension “should include all the companies that require it and continue through 2021 so that activity can be maintained. The problem is not only restrictions on movement or limitations on capacity and schedules, but the slowdown in the economy and the reduction in consumption”. For ASCEF, it is not a good solution for ‘outbreak’ ERTEs to only be applied to companies that operate in a city placed under lockdown or that are subject to restrictions.

Given this situation, it is important for the proposals to be realised and an agreement reached as quickly as possible. “There are many medium or small family businesses that are less resilient, so their survival may depend on their obtaining this extension of aid,” Mr Jori adds. The ASCEF President believes family businesses remain committed to employment and the region “but the situation is reaching breaking point and there is great uncertainty about what will happen in the coming months.

Family businesses in Catalonia account for 88.3% of all private companies, contribute 69% of the Gross Value Added (GVA) and generate 76% of private jobs. They view it as necessary to maintain the same conditions for ERTEs, together with subsidies for Social Security contributions.

In addition, ASCEF has also called on the government to make large improvements in efficiency when paying workers, avoiding delays and remedying those that currently exist.