“ERTO”: a tool to help companies and maintain jobs

“ERTO”: a tool to help companies and maintain jobs

Last week, Law 05/2020, of 18 April, on new exceptional and urgent measures due to the sanitary emergency caused by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, entered into force. One of the measures that has greatly affected the labor dynamics of the country, have been the so-called “ERTO” (modulation of the work time of employees).

Many companies and businesses have had no choice but to take advantage of this measure, in order to guarantee jobs and the future of their business, due to the mandatory interruption/suspension of their activity (or imposed guard activity). Moreover, even activities that have been allowed to remain open have had to implement said measures, as they have seen a very noticeable decrease in their revenue (above 50% compared to April of the previous year).

Therefore, many businesses have already requested suspensions of employment contracts or reductions of working hours, for almost all of their employees. But what if a company has requested an “ERTO” taking into account the current situation and, in a few weeks, they are allowed to resume their activity and need additional workers? Can an employer unilaterally modify the “ERTO” currently implemented?

The answer is affirmative. As soon as an “ERTO” has been requested the Ministry in charge of Labour matters provides a remote access to the file. The company can then modify the measures as needed by providing the necessary information. It is still too early to obtain such access, as the Department in question is currently working to make it available during the course of the coming weeks. All amendments to measures put in place must be duly substantiated, explaining the reasons for such changes.

It is very important to note that making this type of change cannot involve any sanctions as long as no fraud is committed. However, such modifications, duly justified, will not cause any harm to the employer, as they will be perceived as a necessity. This measure has been implemented to support employers and not to cause any harm as long as it is done responsibly and conscientiously.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind all the companies or businesses that have applied for an “ERTO”, that the public Administration has the right to review the corresponding files for a period of three years.


Sheila Fernández