Four benefits struggling self-employed people in Spain can apply for

If you're an "autónomo" (self-employed person) in Spain who is struggling to make ends meet due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are several financial support packages that you should know about.

Four benefits struggling self-employed people in Spain can apply for
Photo: Martaposemuckel/Pixabay

Many of Spain's 3.2 million self-employed people (around 16 percent of the country's working population) have seen their income sources dry up during the country's lockdown and subsequent economic recession. 

Fortunately, a new set of government measures came into force on October 1st which aim in part to help self-employed workers who may have seen their businesses suffer during the pandemic. 

These financial support measures will be available until January 31st 2021. Find out below which type of aid you might be eligible for. Each one can be applied for through your mutua, which was assigned to you when you became autónomo

1)   Cese de actividad ordinario (cessation of normal business activity)

This benefit covers autónomos who have had to stop doing their usual economic activity because of the pandemic or those whose income has dwindled because of it. It was brought into force in July, but has now been extended.

Requirements: Applicants must have been contributing social security payments and been signed up to the autónomo system for the past 12 months. Your turnover for the fourth quarter must have fallen by 75 percent compared to the same period in 2019, and your income cannot exceed €5818,75 or €1939,58 per month.

2)   Ayuda por bajos ingresos (help for low earners)

The benefit for low-income workers has been put into place for all those autónomos who do not meet the conditions for the benefit above, such as those who have not contributed to the social security for the past 12 months. They will receive around 50 percent of the minimum contribution base, approximately €760.

Requirements: To be eligible for this benefit, income must not exceed minimum wage, set at €950 per month. You will also have to prove that your income has fallen by 50 percent in this fourth quarter, compared to the first three months of the year.

Taxes for autónomos. Photo: Steve Buissinne/Pixabay 

3)  Ayuda por suspensión de actividad (Suspension of business activity)

This help is aimed at autónomos who have had to close their businesses due to Covid-19 restrictions, such as those who might work in nightlife venues that have now been ordered to close.

Workers who are eligible for this benefit will receive 50 percent of the minimum contribution base, approximately €760 or 70 percent of the minimum contribution base (€950) if they have a large family and they are the sole earner.

Requirements: The applicant must have been discharged from their work within the last 30 days, prior to the application, in order to benefit.

4)  Ayuda para temporeros (Help for seasonal workers)

Like the first benefit, this help for seasonal workers has now also been extended. This is for those who have worked at least four months between June and December of this year. 

Requirements: You must have worked less than 120 days during 2018 and 2019 to be eligible. In addition to this, your income so far in 2020 can't have exceeded €23,275. 


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Amazon’s new cloud computing unit in Spain to create 1,300 jobs

Amazon cloud computing unit AWS plans to invest €2.5 billion in Spain over the next 10 years which will create over 1,300 jobs, the US e-commerce giant said Wednesday.

Amazon's new cloud computing unit in Spain to create 1,300 jobs

The investment will be used to set up and operate a cloud computing hub in Spain, its eighth in Europe, the company said in a statement.

“We are delivering on our promise to build new world-class infrastructure locally to help customers in Spain achieve the highest levels of security, availability, and resilience,” AWS vice president of infrastructure services, Prasad Kalyanaraman, said in the statement.

Cloud computing – storing data, software, and even business functions over the internet – has been taking over tech.

The pandemic has accelerated a shift to relying on the internet for work, education, shopping, socialising and entertainment, fuelling demand for cloud computing.

Amazon said its investment would add €1.8 billion ($1.8 billion) to Spain’s gross domestic product over 10 years, in addition to creating over 1,300 jobs.

The online shopping giant has just opened its first major data centre in Spain in the northeastern region of Aragón.

The announcement comes as Amazon is preparing to lay off as many as 10,000 employees around the world, according to a report published Monday in the New York Times.

If confirmed it would be the largest round of firings in the history of the 28-year-old company which had 1.54 million employees worldwide at the end of September.

The Times report said the affected positions will be located in Amazon’s devices department, the retail division and human resources.

READ MORE: Meta, IBM, Google, Amazon – How thousands of tech jobs are being created in Spain