Economy minister Pedro Siza Vieira

Government changes its “simplified lay-off regime” for fourth time

The Portuguese government continues to adjust its “simplified lay-off regime,” having announced this afternoon its fourth round of changes to it as well as a series of new or altered support measures.

The regime is now accessible to “companies or establishments whose complete or partial closure was forced by a decision made by political or health authorities” as well as those who have seen a “40% decrease in invoicing compared to the month prior or year before”.

The government has also opened the scheme up to companies who have seen “their activity stop totally or partially due to an interruption of global supply chains, or the suspension or cancelling of orders”.

During the so-called “period of reduction or suspension, as well as the 60 days after it is applied, the employer cannot terminate the contracts of the employees supported by these measures”.

Employees will receive two-thirds of their usual gross salary, with 70% being paid for by Social Security and 30% by the employer.

The government support lasts one month but can be renewed every month up to a six-month period.
Companies must also have their tax payments up to date to apply.

To benefit from the support, companies must inform the workers who will be affected in a written statement, informing them of how long the “layoff” period will last. The next step is applying for the government support by emailing the regional Social Security centre.

According to the Minister of Economy, this lay-off regime is going to cost the government around €1 billion per month.

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