Castilla-La Mancha promises work to all unemployed whose unemployment benefits runs out
The president of the Comunidad de Castilla-La Mancha, José María Barreda, has announced a plan to help those unemployed who have been left without any financial help when their unemployment benefit runs out (unemployment payments in Spain are proportional to the number of years a worker has been paying national insurance payments prior to becoming unemployed). In reference to the plan he said that ‘exceptional answers were needed in exceptional times’. The plan, which will come into effect in a few weeks on 1st May, aims to employ all the unemployed in the region whose unemployment benefit has run out.
Before the plan comes into effect on 1st May negotiations with local councils, town halls, various social agencies as well as business representatives and trade unions will take place. The plan will initially affect up to 11,000 unemployed and will cost the regional government of Castilla-La Mancha between 30 and 32 million euros.
It is expected that this amount will be complemented by funds from central government aimed at helping specific regions.
In the month of February there were 164,532 registered unemployed in Castilla-La Mancha out of which 106,466 receive benefits. The new measure is aimed at helping those who have been left without any benefits or financial help. The unemployment rate for the region is 14.9% is one point higher than the national average according to the latest survey on the active population.
María Luz Rodríguez, the advisor on work for the regional government of Castilla-La Mancha, has given a rough outline of how the plan will create employment. She said that local councils will employ people for a salary of 865 euros a month. Out of this salary 765 euros will be paid directly to those employed under the scheme – the minimum salary is 624 euros – and 100 euros will go towards social security costs and tax.
However, employers are free to fix salaries at a higher level if they wish.
The work contracts that will be offered under the regional plan will be for full or part-time work and have a duration of 180 days which means that those employed under the plan will be entitled to receive benefits when their work contract finishes if the current economic crisis does not improve.
The type of work that will be done under the plan for employment will be work to improve urban infrastructure, gardening, maintenance and other social activities such as looking alter the elderly or children under 3 years old.
With the continuous growth in unemployment throughout Spain, now predicted to reach 4 million, Barreda aims to avoid large numbers of people in his region being left without any financial help whatsoever.
According to María Luz Rodríguez, the plan is not just about covering minimum necessities but also about occupying people who otherwise would have nothing to do.
At present all regional authorities in Spain are debating plans and projects to create employment. For example in Madrid Íñigo de Barrón, the advisor on work for the regional government, is planning to help the unemployed look for work if they are willing to receive training at the same time as carrying out paid employment.