On Tuesday, September 6, the Spanish Government approved Royal Decree-Law 16/2022, which aims to equate the working and Social Security conditions of domestic workers to those of other employees. The most notable change is that these workers, who are mostly women, will be able to access unemployment benefits.
Domestic workers thus cease to be the only labor group that lacked protection in a situation of unemployment, despite the fact that the majority have part-time and intermittent employment relationships, which often end suddenly due to the death of their employers and with a special regime of dismissal that allowed arbitrary and untimely dismissals without any type of compensation.
1- How it affects domestic workers
The main change established by this new regulation is that, from now on, domestic workers will have the right to unemployment benefit, as well as assistance when they are not entitled to contributory benefits. However, the decree includes several aspects:
- End of withdrawal: The figure of withdrawal is eliminated, which allowed dismissal without cause and, therefore, without the guarantees of dismissal for such situations, by allowing domestic workers to be dispensed without justifying any cause. From now on, the reasons that may give rise to the termination of the contract with the employees must be accredited, extending, consequently, the protection against dismissal.
- Training: The Spanish Government will develop training and accreditation policies for domestic employees dedicated to the care or attention of people who are part of the domestic and family sphere. These initiatives will take into account the particular working conditions in this sector and the workers who carry out their activity in it.
- Occupational diseases: The rule also establishes the commitment to create a study commission whose objective is the inclusion of the gender perspective in the table of diseases so that the deficiencies that exist in the field of protection against occupational diseases of jobs performed mostly by women are identified and corrected.
2- Who assumes the contributions
Employers will assume the obligations in terms of contributions for workers who provide their services for less than 60 hours/month per employer, eliminating the possibility of workers directly requesting their affiliation, registrations, cancellations and data variations.
The amounts of these contributions for unemployment and Fogasa will be subsidized by 80%, while the contribution for common contingencies will have a minimum reduction of 20%, which may be increased according to the type of family, income levels and assets. This point will be developed in a regulation, for which the Ministries of Labor and Social Security have given themselves a period of six months.
4- From when they quote
The employees acquire from this October 1, 2022 that right to receive unemployment if they are fired, but in order to access the contributory benefit they must have been contributing for it for a year like the rest of the employees.
5- Who can benefit from this protection
For employers, mostly families, the new unemployment contribution set at a rate of 6% (of which the employer assumes 5% and the worker 1%) and 0.2% for Fogasa will mean an increase of the monthly Social Security fee of 31.38 euros in the case of contributing for a base of 1,166.7 euros or 4.49 euros for a base of 500 euros, according to data provided by Social Security. In addition, Social Security will automatically update the contributions that are charged to employers.
All domestic workers may be entitled to this unemployment subsidy, but it is necessary to be registered with Social Security and they are obliged to do so from the first hour of work.
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