The Minister for Presidency, Economy and Enterprise, Jordi Gallardo, and the Secretary of State for Economy, Èric Bartolomé, presented on Thursday, September 1st 2022, the Draft for the law of measures for self-employed workers. The amendment comes in answer to the sector´s repeated demands, asking to be assimilated to salaried workers in certain rights and obligations. “We want to highlight the Government´s firm engagement with this collective”, Gallardo affirmed.
The minister pointed out that the number of self-employed workers contributing to CASS has increased by 14,7% from 2017 to 2021, reaching a number of around 8000 people according to CASS data, and are an important part of the country´s business sector. However, Gallardo also pointed out that in the same period, the declared income has gone from representing 29% of the GDP to 25%, a decline mainly marked by the effects of the economic crisis derived from COVID-19.
Therefore, the draft of Law looks to boost self-employment activity as a productivity resource in Andorra´s economy, giving it value and improving the conditions for this activity especially in the fields of reconciling work and family, the conditions of contributions, dependency on a single client and fiscal measures. “It is a package of measures aimed at helping self-employed workers to continue having the weight within the Andorran economy they have historically had”, stated the minister.
In this sense, the draft is structured under six titles. The first has the aim of providing judicial security to dependent self-employed workers: those whose professional activity depends by at least 80% on one sole client, which makes it necessary to award them certain similar rights to salaried workers. In this section the requirements are determined as well as the rights given, such as those referring to work days, causes for contract resolution and the promoting of the use of mediation in conflicts.
Title II regulates and collects measures in fiscal, social security and social protection and socio-sanitary terms for self-employed workers. Specifically, the IRPF is amended to allow reductions linked to professional activity, and it establishes exemptions in cases of incomes lower than 240000 Euros and tax breaks during the first year of activity. It also proposes that economic benefits paid by the company for disability due to work accidents, maternity leave, adoption or pregnancy risk, should be assumed by the CASS, among other points.
Furthermore, among other questions, it considers as work accidents illnesses derived from the execution of the work and accidents on the way to work, as well as recognizing pensions for early retirement maintaining the activity through cumulative compliance of specific requirements.
The subsequent titles, the minister continued, refer to the facilitating of family balance –with benefits between 25% and 100% for the care of minors, dependent or disabled relatives–, and to the field of social security: it proposes simplifying requirements to accredit the non-retribution for business administrators. It will allow the modification of contribution quotas within the same year depending on quarterly projections.
To end, the text also includes the creation of a Labor Department for self-employed workers and a Registry, with the aim of providing specific and specialized support by the administration to this collective, as well as having statistics data on the sector. “The existence of a Registry and a specific department, to which they can address themselves is important”, stated the Minister for Presidency, Economy and Enterprise.
“The text provides an answer to the needs and historical revindications of this collective in the country”, highlighted Jordi Gallardo, who wanted to point out that the draft of Law “is necessary” to continue providing support to self-employed workers.