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Changes to procedure for Autonomo workers
Changes to current regulations for self-employed workers in Spain (Autonomos) were brought into effect over the weekend. Autonomos are now able to claim unemployment benefit - providing that they increase their Social Security contributions by 1.7%, around 15 € a month for most workers.
In doing this they will have entitlement to claim unemployment benefit for up to 12 months, and to qualify for this the are required to make a request to their ‘Mutua de Accidentes de Trabajo y Enfermedades Profesionales.
It is to be noted that this is a voluntary scheme - with the exception for so called 'dependent self employed workers' (TRADE), where an element of risk is considered as part of the job, and under these circumstances the additional payment is compulsory.
The ATA Federation of Autónomos expects around 1 million self employed workers to contribute to the new scheme in the coming year, but emphasised that the first claimants will not be eligible for payment the end of 2011 as a qualifying 12 months contribution is required ahead of any claim. Furtheremore the 2 year period prior to claiming are taken into account in order to calculate the length of payments due. In order to qualify for the full 12 months of benefit, workers should have paid in continuously for the previous two years.
Slightly more generous payments are made to claimants over the age of 60.
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