Covid-19: Companies that benefited from the standardization incentive can now apply for recovery support

The measure had already been announced by the Government, but a decree of law was only published yesterday

Companies that benefited from the extraordinary incentive to normalize their activity can, from today, access support for the recovery without having to return the aid already received, which, according to the Government, amounts to 236 million euros.

At issue are the companies that received support for the normalization of the activity, after having been in lay off simplified and that until now they could only access recovery support (a measure that followed the lay off simplified) if they returned the aid already received in that area.

According to an official source from the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security to Lusa, "to date 46,2 requests for the incentive have been submitted, with 236 million euros having been paid" which will not be returned to the State if companies decide to request support for recovery.

The measure had already been announced by the Government and the decree-law was published on Wednesday in the Diário da República, establishing an “exceptional and temporary change in the sequential rules of support for the maintenance of jobs”.

The decree-law establishes, on the one hand, that the employer who, until October 31, 2020, has requested the extraordinary incentive for the normalization of activity may, exceptionally, until December 31, 2020, give up this support and access extraordinary support the progressive resumption of activity, without the need to return the amounts already received.

On the other hand, it also establishes that the employer who has resorted “to the application of the reduction or suspension measures provided for in the Labor Code, and who wishes to access extraordinary support for the progressive resumption of activity, is not subject to the term that limits the recourse to reduction or suspension measures, referred to in article 298-A of the Labor Code ”.

The incentive to standardize the activity consists of financial support to companies that have resorted to the lay off simplified, being granted in two modalities: it can be paid at once and in this case it is 635 euros, or over six months, in this situation, 1.270 euros.

Support for the gradual recovery allows companies with revenue breaks of at least 25% to reduce workers' hours, being part of the remuneration financed by Social Security.

This change in the sequence of support for the maintenance of jobs was promulgated on Monday by the President of the Republic, who recalled "the importance of the constitutional principle of participation of union organizations and workers' committees in the elaboration of labor legislation", in a note published on the website of the Presidency of the Republic.

The incentive to normalize the activity is paid by the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP).

According to the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (articles 54 and 56), it is a right of trade unions and workers' commissions to participate in the drafting of labor legislation.