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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-2020-6/835 – measures in Spain

Targeted social security measures for permanent seasonal workers

Country Spain , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, started on 03 February 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
Author Oscar Molina (UAB) and Eurofound
Case created 11 May 2020 (updated 12 May 2020)

Background information

Royal Decree Law 7/2020 establishes measures addressing anticipation and extension of reductions in social security contributions paid by companies related to the tourism sector in order to keep seasonal workers (with discontinous open-ended employment contracts) in employment during periods of lower activity.

In February 2020 there were 360,000 of discontinous open-ended employment contracts mostly directly or indirectly linked to the tourism sector (along with workers in the agriculture and the food industry, not covered by this sectoral measure).

Content of measure

Royal Decree Law 7/2020 of 12 March establishes that companies related to the tourism sector are allowed to reduce the payment to the social security for the discontinous open-ended (seasonal) employment contracts by 50%, as long as they keep these employees during the months from February to June.

These bonuses may be applied to all types of contingences for which companies pay contributions (unemployment, vocational training, common contingences).

Concerning the scope of the measure, only companies engaged in the tourism sector are allowed to these rebates, as well as to those in the commerce and hotel industry. The rebates are nationally applied except in Balearic and Canary Islands during the months of February and March 2020, since other mitigation measures were adopted in 2019 to alleviate the effects of the opening of insolvency proceedings of the Thomas Cook business group.

Later in April 2020, the government has adopted a new measure addressing these types of special employment contracts mainly used in the tourism sector. These employees may access unemployment benefits in the context of ERTEs - temporary employment reduction schemes -, as when the COVID-19 crisis broke out, many of these workers had not taken up their posts. With this measure, they may have a 90-day benefit even if they have consumed their unemployment right or have not contributed enough time to be entitled to.

Use of measure


Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Seasonal workers
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
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:

  • N/A
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions

Social partners were consulted. Details are not yet available.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I55 Accommodation
      I56 Food and beverage service activities
      N - Administrative And Support Service Activities N79 Travel agency, tour operator and other reservation service and related activities
    • Occupation (ISCO level 2)
      Hospitality, retail and other services managers
      Cleaners and helpers


  • 12 March 2020: Royal Decree Law 7/2020. Targeted social security rebates for seasonal workers in the tourism sector. Roya Decree


Eurofound (2020), Targeted social security measures for permanent seasonal workers, case ES-2020-6/835 (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.