Six and a half months after the pandemic broke out, around 7,500 domestic workers who were left without work due to the virus are still waiting for the SEPE to process and pay their benefit, which means that almost one in four who requested it has not even received a response. This was recognized this Friday by the Secretary of State for Employment, Joaquín Pérez Rey, during the press conference to present unemployment and affiliation in September.
Rey explained that this subsidy has “particular overtones” as it has been outside unemployment protection. It should be noted that it is the first time in history that this group (which does not have the right to unemployment) has received state aid. “It has been necessary to establish a whole series of particular mechanisms that have hampered the SEPE’s efforts,” number two of Employment was hidden.
The Government has already approved 23,473 applications for the extraordinary unemployment benefit for domestic workers launched in the face of the pandemic, while it has denied 1,606 requests. The refusal to give them this benefit, which is 70% of their regulatory base (as is the case with unemployment and the ERTE benefit), is due to having submitted this request after the deadline (the limit for submitting the letter ended last 21 July), being duplicated or not meeting any of the requirements, such as that the dismissal or reduction was after March 14 or that their income from work does not exceed the Minimum Interprofessional Salary (SMI).
Household workers registered with Social Security, and who did not have the right to unemployment until this crisis, were able to start requesting this subsidy for dismissals or reduction of working hours related to covid-19 in May. However, the aid has reached very few: just 6.2% of the group, one of the most vulnerable. Those who have received this aid are mostly women who were fired during the state of alarm, while those who continued to be discharged although with a reduction in working hours are having more obstacles, as this newspaper has been able to verify.
This sector has suffered the impact of this pandemic to a greater extent, since it has lost more than 21,300 jobs since this crisis broke out. Thus, the system now barely has 374,000 members in the household regime (in women because they are the vast majority), compared to the more than 394,000 in February.
The subsidy, with an amount that represents 70% of the employee’s regulatory base, is compatible with other activities as long as the SMI, established at 950 euros per month, is not exceeded.