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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

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

Factsheet for case PT-2020-35/1225 – measures in Portugal

Internship ATIVAR.PT - Internships for unemployed persons with disability or impairment

Estágio ATIVAR.PT - Estágios para pessoas desempregadas com deficiência ou incapacidade

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 28 August 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Active labour market policies, incl. subsidised job creation
Author Paula Carrilho and Heloísa Perista (CESIS)
Case created 02 October 2020 (updated 27 November 2020)

Background information

To face the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government established as one of the priority axes of the Economic and Social Stabilisation Programme (Programa de Estabilização Económica e Social), approved by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers 41/2020, of 6 June, the maintenance of employment and the gradual recovery of economic activity.

The measure ATIVAR.PT Internships was created in this context. It is framed by a wider package of active labour market policies, the programme 'ATIVAR.PT - Enhanced Support Programme to Employment and Vocational Training ;(ATIVAR.PT — Programa Reforçado de Apoios ao Emprego e à Formação Profissional). This Programme aims to ensure an adequate and rapid response with support programmes for hiring and internships, in combination with programmes for specific sectors and groups.

It includes two policy measures: a) ATIVAR.PT Internships; b) ATIVAR.PT Incentive. The Ordinance 206/2020, of 27 August, regulates the measure ATIVAR.PT Internships, which aims at strengthening the supports to the integration of young people in the labour market and the vocational retraining of the unemployed, notably those with disability or impairment (article 3, number 1 d).

Content of measure

The objectives of the measure ATIVAR.PT Internships are to (article 2):

  1. Complement and develop the unemployed skills, notably unemployed young people, in order to improve their employability profile, through practical experience in work context;
  2. Support the transition between the qualifications system and the labour market, namely by promoting the integration in the active life of young people with adequate levels of qualification;
  3. Promote knowledge about new trainings and skills among businesses; and promote job creation in new areas;
  4. Support the improvement of qualifications and the conversion of the productive structure.

This measure is addressed to all unemployed persons registered at the PES. However, specific conditions apply to some groups, including to those with disabilities or impairments (article 3, number 1 d), for instance: The promoter entity that integrates trainees with disability or impairment will see the internship duration extended for more three months, from 9 to 12 months (article 8). Every trainee with disability or impairment is entitled to: a monthly internship grant, meal or meal allowance, transportation between his/her residence and the location where the internship will take place or transportation allowance, and insurance against accidents at work (article 11).

The monthly internship grant is granted per participant according to his/her level of qualification ranging between 1.2 times the Social Support Index (Indexante dos Apoios Sociais – IAS) (the amount of IAS in 2020 is €438.81) for qualification level 3 of the National Qualifications Framework (Quadro Nacional de Qualificações - QNQ) and 2.4 times the IAS for qualification level 8 of the QNQ. For the remaining situations a monthly amount equivalent to the IAS is granted.

The Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional, IEFP, IP) contributes between 65% and 95% of the monthly internship grant, depending on specific conditions (article 15). This contribution will be increased by 15 percentage points if the trainee is a person with disability or impairment. The IEFP also contributes to the meal allowance, transportation and insurance against accidents at work (article 15).

The promoter entity that concludes an open-ended employment contract with the trainee, within a maximum period of 20 working days from the date of the end of the internship, is entitled to a job-creation award. The amount of this award is equivalent to twice the monthly basic wage defined in the contract, up to the limit of five times the value of the IAS (€2,194.05) (article 17, paragraph 1). Transitory, until 30 June 2021, this amount is equal to three times the monthly basic wage defined in the contract, up to the limit of seven times the value of the IAS (€3,071.67).

Use of measure

This measure was launched very recently. No information is yet available of the use of the measure.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all businesses Disabled

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 internships measure ATIVAR.PT, the social partners represented at the tripartite Standing Committee for Social Concertation were consulted.

Furthermore, 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

Social partners supported the measure.



Eurofound (2020), Internship ATIVAR.PT - Internships for unemployed persons with disability or impairment, case PT-2020-35/1225 (measures in Portugal), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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