European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case ES-2020-12/555 – measures in Spain

Unemployment benefit guarantee in case of temporary collective dismissal or reduced working time

Garantía de prestación por desempleo en caso de ERTE

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 18 March 2020 – 31 January 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g. short-time work)
Author Oscar Molina (UAB) and Eurofound
Case created 13 April 2020 (updated 11 January 2021)
Related ERM support instrument

Background information

All workers affected by temporary collective dismissals or reduced working time schemes will have the right to receive unemployment benefits even if they do not meet the minimum contribution period required for it. In this case, the worker will have right to unemployment assistance benefit.

Moreover, for future unemployment spells, the period receiving unemployment benefits under temporary collective dismissals or reduced working time schemes due to COVID-19 will not be considered as consumed ('counter to zero' policy). The objective of this measure is to make sure that all workers under these procedures will receive income support.

For more information on the temporary layoff scheme see the following cases:


ES-2020-13/602 .

ES-2020-20/880 .

Content of measure

This measure applies to all workers under a temporary collective dismissal or reduced working time procedure, including those in cooperatives.

In all cases it is required that the contract has been signed prior to the date of entry into force of the law containing this measure.

The measures provided for in this regulation shall be applicable to the affected workers, both if, at the time of the adoption of the temporary collective dismissal or reduced working time procedure, they had a previous right to unemployment benefit or subsidy suspended and if they lacked the minimum period of listed employment to cause right to contributory benefit, or had not received previous unemployment benefit.

Use of measure

There are no estimates yet as to the number of workers affected.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
Public employment service
Social insurance
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


Social partners were not involved in designing, implementing or monitoring this measure.

Views and reactions

Social partners were consulted about this measure before approval and were supportive of this policy.


  • 18 March 2020: Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of March 17, on extraordinary and urgent measures to face the economic and social impact of COVID-19. (


Eurofound (2020), Unemployment benefit guarantee in case of temporary collective dismissal or reduced working time , case ES-2020-12/555 (measures in Spain), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.