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Firms face fines of up to 187,000 euros for fraudulent furloughing of staff

A man outside a job centre in Madrid earlier this month.
A man outside a job centre in Madrid earlier this month. / EFE
  • So far over 40,000 self-employed in Andalucía have applied for the Junta's 300-euro subsidy, among other schemes on offer

About half a million companies nationally had presented ERTE furloughing measures by Wednesday this week. Around four million workers have been affected so far, according to government data.

Mindful of the pressure put on State finances to cover the temporary unemployment benefits and the missed social security quota payments, on Tuesday the government approved fines it will apply specifically for companies that present false ERTE applications. Amounts will be between 6,200 and 187,000 euros.

Work minister, Yolanda Díaz, has said that inspectors will check every application for fraud. Fines could be multiplied by each employee and companies will have to give back all payments made.

Take-up of Junta support

Meanwhile, the Junta de Andalucía has been giving details of the take-up of its aid programmes for regional companies. On Thursday it said that its special-term loan schemes for small companies and self-employed had had 1,275 requests and that the average loan value asked for was 28,000 euros.

In addition, by Wednesday, almost 40,000 regional self-employed in Andalucía in certain types of work had applied online for up to 300 euros to cover their April social security quota in cases where national benefits cannot been applied for.

National data showed this week that in March, as the crisis was starting to be felt, there were almost 30 per cent fewer new company registrations compared to 2019. The Bank of Spain is predicting an 11 per cent fall in the country's GDP for this year, based on the effect of the crisis so far.