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'Horrible year' for self-employed workers, with losses averaging €20k

Freelancers in Spain lost over €65M in 2020, according to ATA findings

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11 January 2021 03:10 PM

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ACN | Madrid

Freelancing is known for being a difficult enterprise, but Lorenzo Amor, the head of Spain's Self-Employed Workers' Association (ATA), describes 2020 as a particularly "horrible year" for the sector he represents, with losses averaging a staggering €20,000 per person.

In a report of the ATA's findings released on Monday, Amor laments authorities have only provided self-employed workers with an average of €3,000 in financial aid each, which means they have only made up for €15 out of every €100 lost.

In the year of a pandemic with wide-reaching health, social and economic effects, the ATA also estimates that self-employed workers in Spain have lost over €65 million in total, with slightly over a third of them losing more than €30,000 each, and around two thirds—the equivalent of 2 million people—making an average of €15,000 less than in 2019.

The most affected industries, of course, are those that have had to limit their activity for health and safety reasons, among which the events sector (including children's entertainment, nightlife, and other cultural activities) has suffered the greatest financial distress of all.

The ATA's assessment that the assistance received by some self-employed workers may not be enough for their businesses to survive is echoed by freelancers, who in Catalonia have complained of insufficient and inefficient government aid from both Catalan and Spanish authorities. Indeed, many of these workers have struggled to keep afloat in 2020 and have had to reinvent their businesses.

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  • Self-employed workers demanding further government assistance at a protest in front of the Girona city council on November 16, 2020 (by Xavier Pi)

  • Self-employed workers demanding further government assistance at a protest in front of the Girona city council on November 16, 2020 (by Xavier Pi)

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