Employees with employment contracts

 

Teleworking: how does it work?

  • The adoption of teleworking (or remote work) is mandatory. This regime may be imposed by the employer or requested by the employee, without the need for an agreement between the parties, provided that it is compatible with the employee’s duties.

Does “simplified lay-off” also apply to social sector entities? What does this measure consist of?

  • Yes, all support measures for the maintenance of employment contracts are also applicable to the social and solidarity sector, provided that one of the situations defined as a “company crisis” is verified.
    Under the “simplified lay-off” regime, the employer can suspend employment contracts or decrease its employees’ work schedules.
    For more information on the impact of COVID-19 on employment, please see our website here.

Can the amount received under the support measures for the maintenance of employment contracts be deducted from the Social Security’s co-payment in the context of cooperation agreements?

  • No, it was expressly stated in the law that the Social Security’s co-payments to entities with cooperation agreements whose activity has been suspended will be maintained, even if these entities come to benefit from the exceptional support measures for the maintenance of employment contracts in a context of “company crisis”, or the extraordinary support measure towards the normalisation of a company’s activity, ensuring the payment relating to the month of February 2020, for a period of three months.

Can the same entity have employees with reduced work hours and others with suspended employment contracts? And can the same entity have some of its establishments benefiting from these support measures and others not?

  • The answer to both questions is yes.

Can workers subject to the “simplified lay-off” regime still render services in non-profit public or private entities from the social and health sector (namely, health services, hospitals, residential units or domiciliary services supporting the elderly, the disabled or those with special needs) and receive a monthly remuneration during the period when their contracts are suspended or work hours reduced?

  • Yes, they can, if they are no older than 60 years of age and do not belong to a risk group subject to special protection. The monthly remuneration is cumulative with the compensation received during the “simplified lay-off” because it does not arise from an employment relation.

To access these support measures, is it necessary to be up to date with tax and social security payments?

  • Yes. However, until 30 April 2020, employer entities can, exceptionally, access these support measures with debt incurred during the month of March 2020.

Is there any measure to support the training of workers during this exceptional period?

  • Yes, institutions can benefit from an exceptional training plan organised and 100% funded by the IEFP, I.P. This plan is directed at the employees covered, but only if the beneficiary institutions do not request support under the lay-off regime.

Is there any training support compatible and cumulative with the lay-off regime?

  • Yes, lay-off can be combined with a training plan in the context of which the IEFP, I.P. additionally pays a monthly grant equal to 30% of the Portuguese Social Support Index (Indexante de Apoios Sociais – IAS), i.e. €132.60, which is allocated in equal parts to the employer and the employee (who receive €65.80 each).

What type of duties can workers who provide social services perform while these services are not functioning normally?

  • To the extent possible, institutions should ensure that their workers providing social services continue to provide this support, even if in adapted ways. They may also perform any other activities deemed necessary, without prejudice to the need to safeguard these workers’ functional content.

Is there any specific protection for social sector workers?

  • Workers delivering the social services provided by institutions are considered essential services workers and must follow the instructions of both their employer and the public authority. These workers also benefit from the childcare services foreseen, which are provided at the educational establishment identified for each school grouping.

What support is there for “green receipt” workers?

  • Self-employed workers who are affected by a complete halt in their economic activity are entitled to extraordinary financial support, provided that certain requirements are met.
    For more information about the impact of COVID-19 on the self-employed, please refer to our website here.

Do self-employed workers who are working half the number of hours previously worked, and therefore still receive half of their salary, also qualify for the support measures aimed at self-employed workers?

  • The measures adopted do not expressly safeguard cases where there is a mere reduction in the activity of self-employed workers; however, seeing as the measures foresee the possibility of a reduction in billing, they may be compatible with a partial reduction in the activity of self-employed workers.

We have both employees with employment contracts and self-employed workers – will the support granted for the maintenance of employment contracts be paid directly to the workers or do they go through us?

  • The support granted under the lay-off regime to employees with employment contracts who are included in the list sent by the institution, along with their application for support from the Social Security, will be paid to the employers (institutions), as reimbursement for the payments already made to their employees.
    Regarding self-employed workers, since they are not employees of the institutions, but rather service providers, the support is paid directly to them.

What support measures for families and for workers infected or in prophylactic isolation are also applicable to the social sector?

  • All measures directed at companies and adopted to support employees are also applicable to social sector workers. For more information, see our website here.

 

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This information is being updated on a regular basis.

All information contained herein and all opinions expressed are of a general nature and are not intended to substitute recourse to expert legal advice for the resolution of real cases.