Andorra presents the bill that supports the self-employed in the country's economy

The bill that contemplates a reorganization of the protection of the self-employed to provide them with better working and fiscal conditions that equate them to employed workers starts walking.

14 September 2022 Wednesday 09:20
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Andorra presents the bill that supports the self-employed in the country's economy

The bill that contemplates a reorganization of the protection of the self-employed to provide them with better working and fiscal conditions that equate them to employed workers starts walking. The Minister of the Presidency, Economy and Business, Jordi Gallardo, and the Secretary of State for the Economy, Èric Bartolomé, presented the legal text that responds to the continuing demands of the sector. One of the important novelties of the new status of self-employed workers will be to calculate their contribution based on the net income obtained and not as a result of the billing figure, as was the case until now.

"With this text we are giving a very big boost to self-employed workers who, despite being strategic in the productivity of the Andorran economy, did not have all the necessary support to be competitive," said Jordi Gallardo. The Andorran minister highlighted that the self-employed who are listed on the Caixa Andorrana de la Seguretat Social (CASS) increased by almost 15% (14.7%) in the period comprising the years 2017 and 2021, which is equivalent to about 8,000 people. It is without a doubt a very important volume of the active population to give wings to the business activity of Andorra, despite the fact that, in the same period scrutinized, the income of self-employed workers has registered a notable decrease and, from representing 29 % of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, ended up weighing 25% in 2021. More self-employed but less wealth. The reasons for this decline must be sought essentially in the economic crisis of the covid.

In this way, the bill seeks to promote the activity of the self-employed as a productivity resource for the Andorran economy. Improving the conditions that the self-employed receive is key to promoting this productivity path, especially in areas such as work and family reconciliation, contribution conditions, dependence on a single client and fiscal measures. For Gallardo it is "a package of measures that should help the self-employed to continue having the weight in the Andorran economy that they have historically enjoyed".

The bill is structured in six chapters. The first of them aims to provide legal certainty to dependent self-employed workers, whose professional activity, their income, depends at least 80% on a single client. The objective is that they enjoy certain rights similar to those of employees, such as the duration of the working day, the causes for termination of the contract and the fact of promoting the use of mediation in the resolution of conflicts. In this sense, the Minister of the Presidency, Economy and Business highlighted that in the new rule "we equate social coverage between employees and the self-employed, we expand concepts of tax relief for this group and resolve grievances that persisted due to a misconception of the figure of the self-employed from long ago".

It is in the second chapter where the fiscal and social security measures and social and socio-health protection of self-employed workers are collected. The Personal Income Tax Law (IRPF) will be modified to allow reductions linked to professional activity. Exemptions of 50% are also established in the case of income of less than 24,000 euros and bonuses during the first year of activity. The proposal of the legal text also states that, of the economic benefits for disability due to work accident, maternity or adoption and risk of pregnancy, the business part of the contribution is assumed by the CASS. Illnesses derived from the execution of employment and commuting accidents will be considered work accidents, and the early retirement pension is recognized, maintaining the activity with cumulative compliance with specific requirements.

The rest of the chapters plan to facilitate family conciliation with a bonus of between 25 and 100% of contributions to care for minors, disabled or dependent family members. In the field of social security, it is proposed in the bill to simplify the requirements to prove the non-remuneration of company administrators. It will also be allowed to modify contribution quotas in the same calendar year based on quarterly projections. Jordi Gallardo pointed out in the presentation of the new bill that "we want to facilitate the transition of businesses managed by freelancers and thus avoid the destruction of a part of the productive economy that often disappears when the freelancer closes his business."

Likewise, in the Social Security law, it is proposed that those who have a contribution base of 125% or 137.5%, instead of setting these criteria based on billing, should be made based on the annual net income. Those who contribute at 125% must prove a net income of more than 40,000 euros and for those at 137.5%, the net income must exceed 50,000 euros.

Finally, the legal text also includes the creation of the Department of Labor for self-employed workers and the registry of workers in that condition. The objective is to grant specific and specialized support to the self-employed by the Administration "to respond to the needs and historical demands of this group," added Gallardo. For the minister, “being a self-employed person is often a considerable risk, and despite this, we have more and more young people who want to start their own business. It was necessary to favor this situation, which, in turn, is very positive for the competitiveness of our economy”.



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