32,000 companies in layoff
Around 32,000 companies and over half a million staff are in layoff according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Employment, Welfare and Social Security.
By the weekend 31,914 companies had applied for simplified lay-off involving 552,000 workers said the ministry on Saturday.
The regime aims to help companies maintain jobs at a time when they have little or no business activity because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Companies that benefit from this support cannot make staff redundant or undertake collective redundancies because the jobs are no longer there,” said the ministry in a communiqué.
The sectors that have so far made most use of the lay-off regime are Accommodation, Restaurant and Catering, Car & Motorbike Repair Garages and Manufacturing Industries, particularly micro-companies with 10 or less staff (around 74%) and small companies with less than 50 staff (around 20%).
Of the almost 32,000 companies who sent their staff home, 7,398 are from Lisbon, 6,604 from Porto, 3,361 from Braga and 2,192 from Aveiro and 1,825 from Faro.
Through this mechanism, “Social Security pays 70% of two-thirds of the usual net taxed amount for each staff member up to a limit of €1,905,” in other words pays companies a maximum of €1,333.5 of salary, which is exempt from Sole Social Tax.
The Ministry, headed by Ana Mendes Godinho, also reveals that the official unemployment rate will “only be known on the 20 April but according to preliminary data there has been a marginal increase of around 28,000 unemployed compared to the figures for February, to 321,000 people.”