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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-2021-40/1731 Updated – measures in Portugal

New measures addressed to businesses and employment

Novas medidas destinadas às empresas e ao emprego

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 30 September 2021
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
Author Heloisa Perista and Maria da Paz Campos Lima (CESIS) and Eurofound
Case created 18 January 2021 (updated 10 May 2021)

Background information

In view of the evolution of the epidemiological and economic situations, the Portuguese Government continues to understand as a priority, in the current context, the following measures:

support for the maintenance of employment; strengthening of mechanisms to support the treasury situation of companies, in particular micro, small and medium-sized companies, which operate in the sectors most affected by the measures reducing social and economic activity, which in recent months have been accentuated; *support for job creation and maintenance; training and qualification.

Content of measure

The Resolution of the Council of Ministers 114/2020 approves (among other measures):

  1. Expansion of treasury support in the form of non-repayable subsidies (APOIAR Programme) to medium-sized companies and self-employed under simplified schemes.
  2. Support for non-residential leasing for micro, small and medium-sized companies, namely: treasury support, in the form of a non-repayable subsidy for immediate support, to take place during the first half of 2021, in the global amount of up to €300 million; credit line to allow payment of 2020 rents that have been deferred to 2021, in the global amount of up to €100 million.
  3. Expansion of the credit line to companies in the tourism sector that have a high percentage of turnover from exports of goods and the increase in the global amount of that line to €1,050 million, with the possibility of 20% of the credit granted to be converted into non-repayable loans, in case of maintenance of jobs.
  4. Launch, operationalisation and monitoring of a credit line aimed at Mid Cap and large companies operating in sectors particularly affected by the health crisis, in the global amount of € 750 million.
  5. Extend the ATIVAR.PT programme to 2021.
  6. Streamline and extend the duration of support for the hiring of human resources in the social sector for the 1st half of 2021, namely within the scope of the emergency response support measure (MARESS).
  7. Move forward with initiatives in the field of training of employees and strengthening measures for training unemployed, adults and young adults, while efforts will be made to complete, in the 1st quarter of 2021, the dialogue process in course in social concertation on these matters.

These supports are cumulative with the other measures that have been approved by the Government in recent months to support the economy.

Eligibility conditions: the beneficiary companies have not been subject to insolvency proceedings; do not distribute funds to members; do not effect collective redundancies or extinguish jobs for economic reasons.


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

24 March 2021

Decree-Law 23-A/2021, of 24 March, amends the scheme that creates the extraordinary support to the progressive resumption of activity in companies in a situation of business crisis with a temporary reduction of the normal working period and the scheme that establishes support mechanisms under the state of emergency. It also creates extraordinary support measures for workers and economic activity in the context of the state of emergency. The following measures were approved:

  1. The extraordinary support for the reduction of economic activity of workers, which has already provided a response to self-employed workers, sole proprietors, managers and members of statutory bodies with management functions, it is reactivated in relation to workers in tourism, culture, events and shows, whose activity, not being suspended or closed, is still in a situation of proven downtime.
  2. The extraordinary support for gradual recovery is extended until 30 September 2021, and new contribution exemptions and partial exemptions are established within this support, especially for the tourism and culture sectors, which are particularly affected by the present health crisis.
  3. The application of simplified support for micro-enterprises is guaranteed during the third quarter of 2021, granting additional support during this period in the amount equivalent to a guaranteed minimum monthly remuneration (RMMG).
  4. A new extraordinary incentive for the normalisation of business activity is also created, of an amount equivalent up to two RMMG per worker that has been covered in the first quarter of 2021 by the extraordinary support to the maintenance of the labour contract or by the extraordinary support to the progressive resumption of activity. Added to this incentive is the right to a 50% partial waiver of the payment of social security contributions borne by the employer, with reference to the workers covered, during the first two months of the support.
  5. Within the scope of vocational training cumulative with the extraordinary support to the progressive resumption of activity, an extraordinary deadline is established for the start of training plans already approved by the Employment and Vocational Training Institute, I. P., but which have not started in practice due to the suspension of on-site training activities by legislative or administrative determination from a governmental source.
  6. The financing from the State Budget for the additional expenditure resulting from this support and for the loss of revenue resulting from the tax exemptions and dispensations granted is maintained, thus promoting, in particular, the sustainability of social security.

Use of measure


Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Solo-self-employed
Sector specific set of companies
One person or microenterprises
Larger corporations
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A



Views and reactions



  • 30 December 2020: Resolução do Conselho de Ministros nº 114/2020
  • 24 March 2021: Decreto-Lei n.º 23-A/2021 de 24 de Març (


Eurofound (2021), New measures addressed to businesses and employment, case PT-2021-40/1731 (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.