The government will pass new extraordinary legislation to simplify the regime of lay-off in companies whose activity was affected by the effects of the new covid-19 coronavirus epidemic. The measure will cover businesses that have a revenue breakdown of at least 40%, which will also be exempt from Social Security contributions in a period that may extend up to seven months.
The measure was announced yesterday by the ministers of Economy and Labor, Pedro Siza Vieira and Ana Mendes Godinho, after meeting with the partners of the Permanent Council for Social Coordination at a time when sectors such as tourism are already showing losses and in which the spread of cases contagion calls into question operations with the need for quarantine of workers.
The government launched 14 measures (see below) designed to support the treasury of companies and jobs, which go through liquidity measures but also support wages. The application of lay-off businesses affected by the epidemic will largely follow the rules of the pre-existing regime in the law, with workers seeing their wages reduced to two-thirds, up to a maximum of 1905 euros, and with Social Security supporting 70% of the remuneration paid and companies the rest. But the idea is that it will be faster to implement.
In cases where there is access to training during the suspension period, the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP) puts on the remuneration of the lay-off the value of a grant that will guarantee workers an additional 65.8 euros. Another equal amount will accrue to the company.
Access to this regime will be guaranteed to companies with a 40% turnover drop in the three months prior to the request, due to the impact of the viral outbreak. The measure will be able to apply for up to six months, with exemption from the Single Social Fee during that period and after one month after resumption of activity.
Extraordinary support is also foreseen for the payment of salaries in the first month after the end of the lay-off, with IEFP supporting support of 635 euros per worker.
In support for Treasury, the government also increased the level of financing of the special credit line for business support to 200 million euros yesterday. Businesses with a minimum revenue breakdown of 20% will have access, with the government giving guarantees of facilitation to SMEs.
In addition, the tax authorities will allow the postponement of some tax obligations: the first special payment on account (30 June), the delivery of IRC Model 22 (31 July) and the first payment on IRC account (31 August) , and there will be flexibility in the use of European funds. State services are also called upon to speed up payments to suppliers.
Support measures for companies' treasury
1 – Increase from 100 to 200 million euros in the amount of the credit line to support companies' treasury. This line is aimed at micro, small and medium-sized companies, has a guarantee bonus fully subsidized, and will be available from the next 12th.
2 – The payment of incentives within the framework of Portugal 2020 will be made in the shortest possible time, as an advance, if necessary.
3 – 12-month moratorium on amortization of reimbursable subsidies under the NSRF and PT2020, which expire until September 30, 2020.
4 – Expenses incurred with participation in canceled international events will continue to be eligible under the incentive systems.
5 – At the same time, the government will assess, after controlling the epidemic, its impact on the ability to achieve contractual objectives, within the scope of the incentive systems, for the purposes of eventual adjustment thereof. As of now, it is established that the failure to implement actions or goals due to the epidemic is not considered non-compliance.
6 – Deadlines for payment of the first special payment on account will be extended from March 30 to June 30; the delivery of Model 22 of the IRC to July 31; and the first payment on account of the IRC from July 31 to August 31.
7 – The government will make efforts – and will recommend to other public entities – to accelerate all payments.
8 – The offices of IAPMEI, IEFP and Social Security, of the Ministry of Agriculture and Tourism of Portugal will be strengthened to provide clarifications to companies on the available support.
9 – The Government is also evaluating measures to support the relaunch of the activity, namely within the scope of support for external promotion.
Measures to support wages and income from work
1 – Temporary confinement of workers, as determined by a health authority, has been equated with contagious disease with hospitalization, thus conferring the right to leave with payment of 100% remuneration, from the first day;
2 – A system of lay-off simplified for companies that see their activity severely affected due to the epidemic, whereby workers will be guaranteed gross wages equivalent to two thirds of their wages, up to 1905 euros, of which 30% is paid by the employer and 70% by social security, up to a maximum of six months. A tax regime will also be created lay-off with training.
In this context, workers in lay-off will be able to benefit from training actions, with a 30% scholarship from IAS (131.64 euros, half for the worker and half for the employer), supported by the IEFP;
3 – An extraordinary training and qualification plan will be launched, which includes the payment of support to companies equivalent to 50% of the employee's remuneration up to the minimum wage limit, supported by the IEFP (as well as the training cost itself) for companies. with activity affected by the epidemic.
4 – After the end of the lay-off or the closure of the establishment by the health authority, there will be extraordinary support for maintaining jobs in which the first month's wages will be supported by the IEFP, with a support per worker equivalent to a minimum wage.
5 – The government will exempt employers in social contributions from social contributions lay-off or termination determined by the health authority, as well as within one month after resuming activity.