Corona virus: implications for Portuguese staff

What consequences does the COVID-19 have for my employees in the Portugal? What are employers' obligations in respect of COVID-19? At EuroDev we are dealing with European HR matters on a daily basis. Hence, we will do our best to give clear answers to some of the questions you might have. If you employ people in the Portugal, you can find frequently asked questions below.

*The information in the blog has the purpose to help the reader with gaining more knowledge and insights on the measures taken by the government. Please keep in mind that we have outlined basic rules. There might be specific terms, rules and regulations to each measure. As a result, EuroDev cannot guarantee any reimbursements or liabilities. For more detailed information, please contact our experts.

Measures announced by the government

On March 12, the Portuguese Government declared a State of Alert until at least April 9th and announced extraordinary measures to contain and mitigate the COVID-19 virus, including the following:

  • The suspension of most international flights to and from Portugal. This does not currently apply to flights to/from the United States within Continental Portugal.
  • All air and land borders with Spain are closed to tourism and leisure travelers as well as a bar on the entry of foreign cruise ship passengers.
  • The closure of public and  private schools and universities, bars, discos, and similar establishments, beaches to groups of over 5 people
  • The suspension of events with more than 100 people, and all tourism and recreational activities

Additionally, the Council of Ministers also took a set of measures:

  • Exceptional human resources regime, which includes:
          - suspension of overtime limits;
          - simplifying the hiring of workers;
          - worker mobility;
          - hiring retired doctors without being subject to age limits.
  • Prevention regime for professionals in the health sector directly involved in the diagnosis and specialized laboratory response.
  • Exceptional regime for the purchase of services by organs, agencies, services and entities of the Ministry of Health.
  • Exceptional regime for the composition of medical boards for assessing the disabilities of people with disabilities.

The Council of Ministers also approved measures to support the social protection of workers and their families:
They have approved the justified absences for employees and independent workers who have to stay at home to accompany their children up to 12 years old. Next to this, the government has created emergency financial support for this group of employees, as well as for self-employed workers. For self-employed workers specifically, government has also allowed deferred payment of contributions.

Workers who are decreed, by the health authority, the need for 14 days of isolation, will have ensured payment of 100% of the reference remuneration during the respective period. The award of sickness benefits is not subject to a waiting period and the granting of childcare and grandchildren subsidies in case of prophylactic isolation is without dependence on the warranty period.

To further mitigate economic impacts, both in terms of supporting companies' treasury and protecting jobs, the following has been enforced:

  • Credit line to support treasury € 200 million companies
    € 60 million credit line for micro-enterprises in the tourism sector
  • Extraordinary support for the maintenance of employment contracts in a company in a business crisis situation.
  • IEFP training scholarship.
  • Temporary regime of exemption from the payment of social security contributions during the lay off period by employers;
  • Measures to accelerate payments to companies by the Public Administration.
  • Strengthening the response capacity of IAPMEI and Turismo de Portugal in assisting the impact caused by COVID-19.
  • Extension of tax payment deadlines and other declarative obligations.

We understand you might have questions specific to your case and company. If you are looking for answers, we are happy to help. Schedule a 15-minute call with Monique Ramondt, VP of HR Outsourcing by clicking the image below:

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About EuroDev

EuroDev, established in 1996 with offices in The Netherlands and France, has a single, defined purpose to help mid-sized North American companies expand their business in Europe. We have created a proven, successful business development model and since our founding, have partnered with over 300 companies to help them define and meet their European business goals. Services provided include Sales Outsourcing, HR Outsourcing and Digital Marketing. EuroDev is home to 75 professionals from 24 nationalities, covering a total of 21 languages between them. 

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