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Meet the Law | Clarifications on the extraordinary measures granted to workers in the framework of the COVID-19 pandemic

Order no. 94-A/2020 published on April 16th, 2020, governs the procedure for some of the exceptional supports created in the context of the pandemic caused by Covid-19.

1.    Exceptional family support for employees

a)    Basic salary considered in the exceptional support related to the worker's absence for assistance, due to the suspension of teaching and non-teaching activities - under the terms of article 23 of Decree-Law no. 10-A/2020, of March 13th.

For the purposes of granting the support, the Order clarifies that the basic salary to be considered is the one declared in March 2020 regarding the month of February 2020 or, if there is no basic salary declared in that month (for example because it is a month coinciding with the beginning of the employment contract, or the month following the end of a leave without pay), the amount of the minimum monthly guaranteed remuneration (EUR 635) should be considered.

In situations where the employee has more than one employer, the maximum limit of the support (EUR 1,905.00) is applied to the total of the basic salaries paid by the various employers, with the support to be paid being distributed, proportionally, according to the weight of the basic remuneration declared by each employer.

2.    Extraordinary support for the reduction of the economic activity of self-employed workers

For the calculation of the support, the salary to be considered corresponds:

  • For self-employed workers, to the average of the contribution base for the months in which pay was recorded in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of submission of the application;
  • For the managing partners, to the basic salary declared in March 2020, referring to the month of February 2020, or, if there was no basic salary declared in that month, to the value of IAS (EUR 438.81). We also highlight that this support is only applicable to the managing partners of companies, as well as members of statutory bodies of foundations, associations or cooperatives with functions equivalent to those, without employees, who are exclusively covered by social security schemes in that capacity and who, in the previous year, had their invoices communicated through the E Invoice below EUR 60,000.00.

3.    Maintaining an employment contract in a business crisis - Simplified Lay Off Regime

a)    Gross regular salary remuneration – Concept
Under the simplified lay-off regime, this Order clarifies that the calculation of the compensation must take into account the salary benefits which the worker regularly declares for social security and which he usually receives, relating to basic pay, monthly bonuses and regular monthly allowances.

b)    Procedure for the inclusion of new workers
The inclusion of new workers during the simplified lay-off concession period, in addition to those identified in the initial application, is done by submitting a new excel file with the identification of the new workers, and payment of the support is granted for the remaining period.

c)    Procedure for submitting the application
Employers who have submitted simplified lay-off requests under the Order no. 71-A/2020, of March 15th (the original diploma that instituted such support), must complete the request with the application and annexes relating to the support, and submitting it through Social Security Direct, failing which the request cannot be accepted.

4.    Common provisions

The means of payment of the above mentioned supports must be made by bank transfer.

During the period of granting of the support there is no compensation with previous debts of the holders of the support or the respective employer. In cases where, during the period of granting of the supports or benefits, payments that prove to be undue are made, they shall be offset against the amounts of supports or benefits that the beneficiary is receiving or will receive, under the terms of Decree-Law No. 133/88 of April 20th - regulating situations of undue granting of social security benefits.

The supports and respective extensions are processed automatically, without prejudice to subsequent supervision.

5.    Supervision

Entities receiving support shall, for the purpose of establishing the facts on which the application is based and its extensions, preserve the relevant information for a period of 3 years.

This measure entered into force on April 17th 2020.

Authors

Susana Afonso
Susana Afonso
Partner
Lisbon
Picture of Sofia Mateus
Sofia Mateus
Partner
Lisbon