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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure PT-2020-31/1282 Updated – measures in Portugal

Exemption and partial remission of social security contributions for companies with temporary reduction of the normal period of working time

Isenção total e dispensa parcial do pagamento de contribuições para a segurança social para empresas com redução temporária do período normal de trabalho

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 August 2020 – 31 December 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
Author Heloisa Perista and Maria da Paz Campos Lima (CESIS) and Eurofound
Measure added 15 October 2020 (updated 10 May 2021)

Background information

Under the scope of the Economic and Social Stabilisation Programme approved by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers 41/2020 of 6 of June, the Decree-Law 46-A/2020 of 30 July creates extraordinary support for the progressive recovery of companies in a situation of business crisis, for the temporary reduction of the normal working time, with a view to maintaining employment. This extraordinary support applies to employers of a private nature, including those in the social sector, who have been affected by the COVID-19 disease pandemic and who are, as a result, in a business crisis situation.

Content of measure

The employers who benefit from extraordinary support for the progressive recovery of companies in a situation of business crisis with temporary reduction of the normal working time are entitled to exemption or partial remission of the payment of social security contributions due for the workers involved. (Decree-Law 46-A/2020, article 9) This exemption or partial remission of the payment of social security contributions due by the employer is granted in the following terms:

  1. As to the months of August and September 2020: full exemption of the contributions in respect of workers, in micro, small and medium companies; partial remission of 50% of the contributions in respect of workers, in large companies.
  2. As to the months of October, November and December 2020: partial remission of 50% of the contributions in respect of workers, in micro, small and medium companies companies.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

19 April 2021

Decree-Law no. 24/2021 of 26 March approves an exceptional regime of payment in instalments for tax debts and social security contribution debts. The government now decides:

  1. To extend the schemes of deferral of tax obligations, particularly under the Corporate Income Tax Code.
  2. To approve an exceptional scheme of payment in instalments for tax debts and social security debts, which provides that, in instalment plans for debts relating to events occurring between 1 January and 31 March 2021 and for debts falling due in the same period, the first instalment will be paid in the second month following that in which the order authorising payment in instalments is notified. The same delay applies to the resumption of payment of instalments for plans approved before 1 January 2021.
  3. For companies in insolvency, special revitalisation process or out-of-court reorganisation regime with an approved plan and in compliance with this plan, it is foreseen the possibility of including in the ongoing reorganisation plans tax debts whose taxable event occurs between 1 January and 31 March 2021. It is also allowed that, in the same situations, if the instalment plans in progress end before 31 December 2021, the number of instalments applicable to the new debts may be extended until that date.

Use of measure

Not estimated.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
Company / Companies
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

The trade union confederations CGTP and UGT and the four employer confederations CIP, CAP, CCP and CTP represented at the tripartite Standing Committee for Social Concertation have been consulted. Also the measures provided for in this decree-law will be subject to regular assessment by the Standing Committee for Social Concertation (article 18).

Views and reactions

Partially supportive.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Exemption and partial remission of social security contributions for companies with temporary reduction of the normal period of working time, measure PT-2020-31/1282 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/PT-2020-31_1282.html

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