The Government of Spain approved the extension until 28 February 2022 of the so-called 'social shield' (escudo social, in Spanish), consisting of economic measures to protect the most vulnerable people. These measures were agreed amid the pandemic and were to expire on 31 October.
The extension of this "social shield" coincides with the extension of the Temporary Redundancy Programs (ERTE).
The decree approved on Tuesday includes the extension of the guarantee of gas, water and electricity supply, a social benefit for vulnerable groups, the suspension of evictions in vulnerable situations and the request for postponement or forgiveness of the rent payments.
In order to guarantee the supply of water, electricity and natural gas, protection measures for vulnerable consumers are maintained, in line with the effective framework developed to identify and structurally reduce the phenomenon of energy poverty.
Likewise, the extended concept of "vulnerable consumer" remains in force temporarily, for the purposes of receiving the social bonus for electricity and special protection against interruption of supply.
Right to housing
The temporary suspension of eviction procedures for homes without alternative housing continues. For their part, the landlords and owners of homes affected by this extraordinary suspension may request compensation until 30 November.
In addition, the possibility of requesting an extraordinary extension of the term of the rental contract for a maximum period of six months is maintained. During those months, the terms and conditions established for the current contract will continue to apply.
The decree also extends the possibility for tenants who are in a situation of vulnerability to request a postponement of forgiveness of the rent payments when the landlord is a company or public housing entity or a large holder - meaning someone with more than ten dwellings.
Protection against gender-based violence
The consideration of essential services for the protection and assistance to victims of gender-based violence is maintained.
In this way, the competent public authorities will continue to adopt all the necessary measures to guarantee the provision of the reception service, information or legal advice 24 hours a day to the victims, among others.
Measures to support La Palma
The regulation includes an improvement in aid for self-employed workers affected by the volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma in order to expand their coverage.
In this way, Royal Decree 18/2021 is modified to include three new aid instruments, which entail a benefit and the exoneration of payment of Social Security fees and which will replace the current benefit.