March 17, 2020 / 1:13 PM / 20 days ago

Spain to give benefits to workers laid off due to coronavirus

A lone passenger walks down the escalator at Chamartin train station during the partial lockdown as part of a 15-day state of emergency following the coronavirus disease outbreak in Madrid, Spain March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish government is planning to grant unemployment benefits to workers temporarily laid off as part of its measures to mitigate the economic effects of the coronavirus epidemic, according to a draft document prepared by the Labour Ministry.

It will also allow the reduction of working hours for employees taking care of others, showed the document that was seen by Reuters.

Separately, a source familiar with the deliberations said the government would suspend mortgage payments for those affected by the epidemic. The cabinet was meeting on Tuesday to discuss a new package of measures to help the country weather the crisis. The government spokeswoman is due to hold a news conference to detail the measures on Tuesday afternoon.

Reporting by Belen Carreno and Jesus Aguado, Writing by Inti Landauro, editing by Andrei Khalip

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