According to the Minister of Labour, this possibility will be studied in the Social Concertation, in order to avoid cases in which it is more advantageous to remain without a job (and receive Social Security benefits) than to embrace a new opportunity, according to a report by ECO.

“We are going to study the possibility of accumulating social benefits with income from work, within certain parameters, to avoid something that happens today, which is that some people prefer to receive unemployment benefits rather than work — because if they work they lose income”, highlighted Maria do Rosário Palma Ramalho, during a conference on the 20th anniversary of the first Portuguese Labour Code.

The minister stated that the idea is not to reduce social benefits. The contours will still be studied in the Social Concertation, but the intention is to avoid situations in which receiving Social Security benefits is more advantageous than actively looking for a job or working. Something that is “relatively common” in sectors where salaries “are not very high”, noted the government official.

“Today, when an unemployed person starts working, they lose their unemployment benefit. We cannot have a situation in which it becomes more advantageous to remain unemployed", insisted Palma Ramalho, who did not reject the possibility of this being one of the measures that the Government will include in the review of the income agreement.

At the end of last year, the previous Government, led by António Costa, opened the possibility for long-term unemployed people to accumulate part of their unemployment benefit with their salary, if they decide to accept a job. This incentive to return to the job market was one of the measures foreseen in the income agreement signed in the Social Concertation.

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