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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

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

Factsheet for measure ES-2020-12/560 Updated – measures in Spain

Automatic extension of unemployment benefits

Prórroga automática de las prestaciones por desempleo

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 18 March 2020 – 30 June 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Income support for unemployed
Author Oscar Molina (UAB) and Eurofound
Measure added 13 April 2020 (updated 30 August 2022)

Background information

During the period of validity of the extraordinary measures in the field of public health adopted by the authorities to combat the effects of the extension of COVID-19, which involve limiting the mobility of citizens or affecting the operation of public services whose action affects the management of unemployment protection, the Public Employment Service will extend automatically the unemployment benefit to those workers whose entitlement ended during this period.

Content of measure

Through this measure, the social security system is authorized to extend automatically the right to receive the unemployment benefit in the cases subject to the semi-annual extension of the right, so that the lack of application by the worker does not entail the interruption of the perception of unemployment benefits or the reduction of its duration.

Moreover, in the case of beneficiaries of the subsidy for over fifty-two years, the payment of the subsidy and the contribution to social security will not be interrupted even when the presentation of the required annual income statement is made outside the legally established period.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

22 February 2022

The measure was extended until 28 February 2022 and subsequently to 30 June 2022. Update history is available at the end of Article 6 .

Use of measure

There are no estimates as to the number of workers affected by this policy.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Older people in employment (aged 55+)
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
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 only consulted, but not involved in the implementation and monitoring of this measure.

Views and reactions

Social partners were consulted prior to the approval of this policy and were supportive.


  • 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. (
  • 22 February 2022: Extension of measures to face vulnerabilities situaciones de vulnerabilidad social y económica (


Eurofound (2020), Automatic extension of unemployment benefits, measure ES-2020-12/560 (measures in Spain), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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