Support for the recovery will allow suspension of contracts in companies with greater losses | Coronavirus

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Companies with a more significant drop in results will be able to send workers home with the suspension of the employment contract even under the regime of support to the progressive resumption. This mechanism was created to help companies to return to work, but contrary to what the bosses wanted, it only allowed the partial reduction of the working day. Soon, however, the worst-off companies will again have access to a mechanism that allows workers to be sent home, without being subject to the rules of the layoff provided for in the Labor Code.

The news was announced this afternoon by the Minister of Economy, Pedro Siza Vieira. The government official made a general presentation of the idea and immediately left the door open so that this regime of support for the resumption with suspension of the contract can be in force in 2021, if the economic activity continues to present levels of significant reduction.

The Government ended the layoff simplified in July. As of August, he wanted to replace this regime, which 115,000 companies resorted to, with another, which he called support for the progressive recovery, because he understood that the layoff simplified was more “penalizing” workers’ income, as, moreover, defended the union centrals and the parties on the left, partners of the PS in many matters in Parliament. For this reason, it removed support from the resumption of the possibility for companies to suspend employment contracts. For that, whoever wanted to, would have to resort to layoff of the Labor Code.

However, two months after the resumption support came into effect, the Government backs off. The weak resumption of economic activity seems to have left the executive between the sword and the wall. And in the face of reality, it ends up giving in to a point that will certainly cause unrest among unions.

The PUBLIC asked the Ministry of Economy for further clarification on the changes now announced, but so far has received no response.

The facts show, however, that in the business world there was little interest in supporting the recovery. In the first month of validity, there were 6900 adhesions, against 95 thousand in the layoff simplified. Naturally, the conditions of economic activity in the March and April confinement were exceeded when the layoff it came into force in the middle of summer, but for business confederations (and even President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa himself said) the best option would have been to extend the previous regime until at least the end of the year.

Due to the lack of demand in some sectors, the minister said today, at the tourism summit, “the regime of support to the progressive recovery will be made more flexible” so that “companies with more significant losses may have the total reduction of their capacity to job”. And he added that, most likely, this support will be extended in order to be available next year. “That”, he said, is something that “the Government is prepared to do, depending on economic activity”.

Another measure is the maintenance of the TSU exemption regime “which was in force in the quarter that is now ending”.

Official data show that the largest share of companies that even accessed support for the progressive recovery are precisely in the sectors of tourism, accommodation, restaurants and the like, which, through the voice of the president of the Confederation of Tourism of Portugal, Francisco Calheiros, insisted on this summit in continuation of layoff simplified as a need to support companies whose industry remains far from normal levels.

Accounts released last week by Business Journal indicate that the layoff it cost the State 822 million euros. With Luís Villalobos

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