Hiring incentives

Employers who offer contracts to workers promote net hiring, and may benefit from financial incentives by supporting the most disadvantaged social groups.

Incentives are diverse and, in certain situations, can be cumulative.
To qualify, employers must meet certain requirements. So at the time of submitting the application and during the support period, the entity must:

(i) be legally constituted
(ii) have no debts to tax
authorities, social se­­cu­rity, the IEFP – Employment and Vocational Training Institute, and the European Social Fund.

A certain level of job creation may also be requested, forcing the employer to not reduce staff while receiving support.
The main hiring incentive measures are as follows:

▪ Exemption or reduction of the Taxa Social Única (TSU): companies that hire young people looking for their first job (younger than 30 and who have never held a permanent employment contract) can benefit from a maximum of 36 months of exemption from payments to the social security;

▪ Estímulo Emprego: employers can receive 80% to 110%-worth of support of the IAS – Social Support Index (€ 419.22 in 2015). This measure can be combined with the previous one;
▪ Gender Equality Promotion in the Labour Market: financial support is provided to employers who celebrate employment contracts with unemployed people registered with employment services and who are of the under-represented sex in a given profession. This measure increases the Estímulo Emprego support from 20% to 30%;

▪ Employment Incentive: financial support is provided to employers who, between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2015, conclude labour contracts amounting to 1% of the monthly remuneration declared to the Social Security;

▪ Emprego Jovem Ativo: IEFP assigns a scholarship to one qualified young person, or a team of 2-3 disadvantaged young people in terms of qualifications and employability, to complete a six-month project chosen by the entity;

▪ Professional Intern­ships: internships may be funded by IEFP when aimed at helping youngsters achieve future employment or retraining the unemployed;

▪ Vocational Rehabilita­tion: an integrated set of measures to support the training and employment of disabled people who have difficulty getting, keeping and progressing in a job.

By Eduardo Serra Jorge
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Dr Eduardo Serra Jorge is founding member, senior partner and CEO of lawyers firm Eduardo Serra Jorge & Maria José Garcia – Sociedade de Advogados, R.L., created in 1987.
In his column, he addresses legal issues affecting foreign residents in Portugal.
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