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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-2020-14/1461 – measures in Spain

Bonuses to Mercadona employees during the health emergency

Primas a los empleados de Mercadona durante la emergencia sanitaria

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 31 March 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Company practices
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Remuneration and rewards for workers in essential services
Author Alejandro Godino (UAB)
Measure added 25 November 2020 (updated 15 February 2021)

Background information

Mercadona, the leading supermarket chain in Spain, has rewarded its workers with bonuses for the extra effort and its exposure to the virus during the start of the health emergency. Supermarket sales generally grew 180% during the first weeks of March. Mercadona is one of the groups with the largest influx of customers, forcing it to strengthen its supply chain. This distribution of benefits among workers was implemented while the company made unforeseen expenses of €100 million to adapt to the health emergency. The group closed 2019 with a turnover of €25.5 billion, 5% more, and a profit of €623 million, also 5% more.

Content of measure

The amount shared by the Mercadona shareholders with the workers includes a bonus for objectives (€340 million charged to the benefits of 2019, compared to €325 million in 2018) and another bonus in recognition of the commitment and the exposure to the COVID-19 virus of the workforce during the beginning of the health emergency (€44 million, charged to the profits of the financial year 2020). Thus, the €384 million represent more than 30% of the total profit of the entity during 2019. Specifically, the company gave to its workforce an extra bonus corresponding to 20% of the gross salary for the month of March.

Use of measure

The bonus was received by the 87,200 employees of Mercadona in Spain.

Contents

  • Bonuses

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Workers in essential services
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
Company / Companies
Companies

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • Only trade unions
  • Main level of involvement: Company level

Involvement

The bonuses for objectives are part of the 2019 Mercadona company level agreement negotiated with unions UGT and CCOO. The extra bonus is an initiative of the firm not negotiated with them.

Views and reactions

UGT considers that the fact that supermarkets remain open to supply basic needs of citizens cannot mean that access is massive, irrational or compulsive based on different factors that create social alarmism. Moreover, the union criticized Mercadona and other supermarket chains in March for not taking measures to limit the capacity of their stores, thus reducing workload and the chances of contagion.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      G - Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles G47 Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Bonuses to Mercadona employees during the health emergency, measure ES-2020-14/1461 (measures in Spain), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/ES-2020-14_1461.html

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