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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-2020-35/1068 – measures in Portugal

Incentive ATIVAR.PT - Financial incentives to hire registered unemployed

Incentivo ATIVAR.PT - Incentivo financeiro à contratação de desempregados

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 27 August 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Active labour market policies (enhancing employability, training, subsidised job creation, etc.)
Author Heloísa Perista, Maria da Paz Campos Lima and Ana Brázia (CESIS) and Eurofound
Measure added 07 September 2020 (updated 20 April 2023)

Background information

To face the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 disease pandemic and in a context where worsening labour market conditions are anticipated, the Government established as one of the priority axes of the Economic and Social Stabilisation Programme, approved by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers 41/2020, of 6 June, the maintenance of employment and the gradual resumption of economic activity.

In this context the «ATIVAR.PT - Reinforced Programme of Support to Employment and Vocational Training (ATIVAR.PT — Programa Reforçado de Apoios ao Emprego e à Formação Profissional) was launched, which is designed to ensure an adequate and rapid response with broadband support programmes for hiring and internships, in articulation with programmes for specific sectors and audiences. The Incentive ATIVAR.PT strengthens the response in terms of increasing the amount of support for hiring various groups in particular the most vulnerable.

The Resolution 207/2020 published on 27 August 2020 regulates the Incentive measure ATIVAR.PT, which consists in granting, to the employer, financial support for hiring unemployed registered at the Institute of Employment and Professional Training, (IEFP)

Content of measure

The Incentive ATIVAR.PT measure replaces the Contract-Employment measure and establishes an increase by 33% in the support to be granted to companies that sign employment contracts with unemployed people registered with the Employment Public Services (IEFP) - increasing the support from €3,949 to €5,266 for hiring with basis on open-ended contracts. It includes bonuses for hiring long-term unemployed, discouraged inactive, youth up to 29 and people aged 45 and over, and also for informal caregivers or homeless people.

The measure aims at:

  • prevent and combat unemployment; promote and support the net creation of jobs;
  • encourage the labour market integration of vulnerable groups; to improvement the quality of employment, encouraging open ended contracts;
  • and fostering the creation of jobs located in interior territories, in order to reduce regional asymmetries.

Use of measure

As of 6 July 2021, as reported on the website, the Portuguese Government declared, regarding the Measure Incentive, that 93% of the contracts signed are open-ended and 18% of those covered are aged up to 25 years old. The entities that have already hired under this measure are mostly from the retail trade, except motor vehicles and motorcycles (10%), the clothing industry (9%) and restaurants and similar (8%). Furthermore, 27% of the employers intend to hire people to work in the inland of the country.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Company / Companies
Public employment service
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


As stated in the Ordinance regulating the Incentive measure ATIVAR.PT, the social partners represented at the tripartite Standing Committee for Social Concertation were consulted.

This measure will be evaluated by the Standing Committee for Social Concertation within three years from the entry into force of this Ordinance.

Views and reactions

The reactions were supportive.



Eurofound (2020), Incentive ATIVAR.PT - Financial incentives to hire registered unemployed, measure PT-2020-35/1068 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.