In a press conference after the Social Consultation meeting, in Lisbon, which took place via videoconference, the minister clarified that “companies that have been closed by administrative or legislative decision have access to the extraordinary employment support mechanism”, usually called simplified lay-off.
According to Siza Vieira, the Government should again review the ordinance recently published that created the measure in order to simplify and clarify it, adding that it implies the suspension of the contract or the reduction of working hours, such as the general lay-off regime that is provided for in the Labour Code.
The ‘lay-off’ is a “mechanism that is aimed at companies in certain situations to reduce working hours or suspend employment contracts in order to preserve employment”, underlined the minister.
Siza Vieira also explained that companies can partially use this mechanism, as in the general regime. In other words, the simplified ‘lay-off’ can be applied only to a certain number of workers in a company, who receive two thirds of the salary, while others can continue to work under normal conditions.
However, the company will have to guarantee one of the criteria defined in the ordinance: it must present a reduction of at least 40 percent in turnover in the last 60 days compared to the same period of the previous year.
The Secretary of State for Social Security, Gabriel Bastos, explained, for his part, that companies that adhere to the simplified ‘lay-off’ will receive their first Social Security payment only in April.
“We are currently finalising the application form for employers on the ‘online’ platform of Segurança Social Directa,” said Gabriel Bastos.
According to the Secretary of State’s forecasts, payments are expected to begin to be made “during the month of April”.
Lay-off workers receive two-thirds of their remuneration, of which 70 percent are paid by Social Security and 30 percent by the company.