Sacked workers return money

A number of workers on fixed-term contracts sacked by the Faro municipal authority in 2010 recently received letters demanding reimbursement of part of the financial compensation they received at the time, according to a report in Expresso newspaper.

A specialist in administrative law has stated, however, that the debt may have already expired and that the workers can contest these demands in court.

The law says that people hired for periods up to six months should receive three days’ remuneration for every month worked while those who work for more than six months should receive two days’ pay.

Despite the fact that all workers were in the service of the municipality for more than six months, the authority mistakenly paid them on the basis of three days.

Three years later, workers received a letter signed by President Macário Correia requesting repayment of the extra amounts.

One of the employees was paid €3,400 when the correct sum should have been €2,200 so faces a debt of €1,200.

The possibility to pay back the requested amounts in instalments is offered by the municipality.

The report added that an inspection by the Court of Auditors in 2009 showed that the municipality’s calculations were “incorrect”, leading the authority to require reimbursements.

No public statement was made by the municipal authority, but the PSD candidate for the forthcoming local elections, Rogério Bacalhau, told Expresso that “the situation should have been detected earlier and should never have happened”.

However, he does not believe that the issue will affect his campaign despite being the political party’s successor to the current president.