FOR MEMBERS

Everything that changes in Spain in September 2020

Everything that changes in Spain in September 2020
Photos: AFP
There are numerous changes in store for Spain in September after a particularly unusual and difficult summer for its 47 million inhabitants.

Return to school 

After months of closure, Spain’s schools are technically reopening at the start of September. 

The country’s coronavirus infection rates are as high as they were during the months of lockdown, which is turning the reopening process into a logistical nightmare for regional authorities. 

Madrid will gradually welcome back pupils to the classroom from September 4th in a staggered manner, which means half-empty classrooms at first, whilst Catalonia has announced September 14th as the date it will reopen schools.

Almost every region has set a different date: Asturias on September 22nd, the Balearics on September 10th, the Canaries on September 15th, and the dates also vary depending on whether it’s a primary, secondary or high school.

READ MORE: Back to school in Spain: When do classes resume in the different regions?

The country’s Education Minister Isabel Celaá said on Monday that Spain’s schools are ready to reopen, that “there is no such thing as zero risk” and that children need to return to school “from an educational, emotional and social standpoint”.

Less ERTE money for those temporarily unemployed

Anyone who started receiving 70 percent of their salary in March as part of the temporary unemployment (ERTE) subsidy will see this sum reduced to 50 percent per month from their September payroll onwards.

This 20 percent decrease applies six months after the ERTE subsidy started to be received.

There is a silver lining however, such as for those who have since returned to work but have had to leave their jobs again due to another lockdown or business closure, as they will receive a reduction of 80 percent in their social security contributions. 

 

Changes to remote working laws set to be passed 

Spain’s Labour Ministry is due to present changes to its teleworking laws in September, which are likely to guarantee that employees have the right to carry out 20 to 30 percent of their job responsibilities from home (when the nature of the work allows for it). 

Spanish unions have said that the amount is too low considering the current coronavirus situation and the prevalence of remote working as an acceptable means of work. 

The practice is still relatively new to Spain so the passing of the new legislation is likely to set in stone employees’ rights in terms of work hours, digital disconnection, work costs etc  

 

Warmer September than average 

According to national weather agency AEMET, it will be a drier and warmer September than in previous years, with temperatures only dropping towards the end of the month. 

Some rain is expected in the northern half of the country but the hotter than average weather we’ve experienced this summer will continue as we approach autumn.  

Sexual freedom law to be approved 

Spain’s government plans to reform its penal code in September to toughen the laws on sexual consent, which has been dubbed the “only yes is yes” law. 

The decree is meant to toughen existing legislation regarding what constitutes sexual assault and clarify the distinction between sexual abuse and rape.

 

Airlines offer flexible flights on the cheap 

In a bid to convince passengers to book flights as the prospect of a second lockdown looms, Spain’s flagship airline Iberia will offer tickets for as little as €22 which are fully amendable for international flights from September 2020 until June 2021. 

In pre-Covid times, buying a flexi-ticket could prove very expensive and amending a flight date after purchase as well, so the offer is certainly appealing for those wanting to travel but are scared of losing money due to cancellations or restrictions. Iberia’s offer ends on September 16th.

Low-cost airlines such as Vueling and Ryanair have joined the aggressive marketing tactic and are now offering tickets for lower prices than average (a million tickets for €5 in the case of the Irish carrier).

 

Big fines for polluting vehicle manufacturers

From September, vehicle manufacturers in Spain that are found to be in violation of emissions limits will have their cars revoked, handed fines of up to €30,000 per polluting vehicle and potentially lose their roadworthiness certifications as well. 

It’s a European Commission measure which affects all of the EU and it means that buying a brand-new but high-emissions diesel or petrol car is becoming increasingly difficult in Spain. 

 

Food credit cards for struggling Madrid families 

From September families in Madrid who are struggling to make ends meet can receive a bank card which is recharged with anywhere between €125 and €630 a month and can be used in supermarkets to buy groceries, hygiene products and other essential goods.

The measure is meant to reduce the huge queues that have developed outside food banks across the capital since the coronavirus crisis began, and at the same time give these hard-hit parents some dignity when it comes to taking care of their families. 

In most cases, the card isn’t available to adults who already receive Spain's minimum vital income. 


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