Since the declaration of the state of alarm by the Spanish government last March 14 due to the COVID-19, different regulations have been enacted that have direct and constant effect on the activities of companies, professionals and citizens in general.
These regulations have had an effect on the regulation of company operations and activities, distinguishing those activities considered essential from those that are not and decreeing the temporary closure of the latter.
It has also had an effect, among others, in the labor field, with measures for the protection of employment, regulating and speeding up the temporary employment regulation proceedings (the so-called “ERTES”) initiated as a result of the pandemic.
In the area of taxation and social security, it has made it possible to request, under certain conditions, a deferment of certain taxes and social contributions.
In the corporate sphere, regulation has mainly focused on suspending and extending the deadlines for the formulation and approval of annual accounts and other corporate reports of companies.
Certain protections or restrictions have also been introduced in relation to foreign investments in certain sectors by residents outside the European Union or the European Free Trade Association, whose ultimate beneficial owners are residents outside these territorial organizations.
In the framework of urban housing leases, certain measures or solutions (moratoriums and reductions of rent) have been offered for these contracts, which differ depending on the type of owner of the property, and measures have been adopted to delay the commencement of any eviction proceedings that might be connected with the current situation.
In the area of personal and procedural actions, it has also decreed the extension of limitation and expiration periods.
Finally, without prejudice to other measures also adopted, it is worth noting here the approval of certain financial measures to relief, to a certain extent, the effects created by the effects of the Coronavirus and the state of alarm decreed, with the granting of guarantees and ICO credits.
This state of alarm and the recognition of the existence, in many cases, of a force majeure, has highlighted the problem of its application and the need to resort to the provisions of article 1105 of the Civil Code of 1889 and its jurisprudential development to try to obtain protection. Once again, a hot topic is the possible application of the so-called “rebus sic stantibus” clause (the acceptance of which by the Supreme Court has generally been restrictive) to existing contractual relations, in particular in contracts of a successive nature.
The following are the main state regulations approved during this crisis, which may be useful to have on hand.
Royal Decree-Law 6/2020, of 10 March, adopting certain urgent measures in the economic field and for the protection of public health. BOE 62/2020 of 11 March.
Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14 March, declaring the state of alarm for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19. BOE 67/2020 of 14 March.
Royal Decree 465/2020 of 17 March amending Royal Decree 463/2020 of 14 March declaring the state of alert for the management of the health crisis situation caused by COVID-19. BOE 73/2020 of 18 March.
Royal Decree-Law 7/2020, of 12 March, adopting urgent measures to respond to the economic impact of COVID-19. BOE 65/2020 of 13 March.
Royal Decree-Law 8/2020, of 17 March, on urgent extraordinary measures to deal with the economic and social impact of COVID-19. BOE 73/2020 of 18 March.
Resolution of 25 March 2020, of the Congress of Deputies, ordering the publication of the Agreement authorizing the extension of the state of alarm declared by Royal Decree 463/2020, of 14 March, until 12 March 2020.
Royal Decree-Law 9/2020, of 27 March, adopting complementary measures, in the field of employment, to relief the effects of COVID-19.
Royal Decree-Law 10/2020 of 29 March regulating recoverable paid leave for employees who do not provide essential services, in order to reduce population mobility in the context of the fight against COVID-19.
Royal Decree-Law 11/2020, of 31 March, adopting additional urgent measures in the social and economic field to deal with COVID-19.
Response of the Accounting and Audit Institute (ICAC) to the audit consultation on the effect of Royal Decree Law 8/2020 of 17 March, in its article 40, on the process of formulation, verification and approval of the annual accounts of the different entities.
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Barcelona and Madrid, 6 April 2020