Lisbon, 06th  May 2020 (Lusa) – The Prime Minister announced today the extension of support to Managing Partners with dependent workers, an increase in the guarantee period for access to unemployment social benefits and support for independent workers without any claims in the last year.

These measures were announced by António Costa at the end of a visit to the Social Security Institute, in Lisbon, justifying them by the “abrupt” change in the country’s reality, following the Covid-19 pandemic.

During a visit, accompanied by the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho, António Costa said that the Government had previously supported situations in which Managing Partners, particularly micro-companies, had support in reduced activity, without staff.

“This week we are going to take it a step further, extending it also to Managing Partners of micro-companies with employees.”, declared the prime minister.

The second step that the Government is going to take, according to António Costa, relates to the guarantee period for access to unemployment benefit for people in probationary situations and for cases where contracts have been terminated.

“The probationary period was taken into account for ‘normal’ circumstances, but that is not the case today, because, as we have seen, in one month, everything has changed. We cannot neglect to support these workers.” he claimed.

The third measure, continued António Costa, will be given in relation to the group of independent workers – workers who enjoyed the alternative of not making contributions to Social Security.

“Anyone who has not fulfilled the alternative [of claiming of Social Security benefits] is not currently protected. We are going to take the step of allowing protection for independent workers who, in the last 12 months, did not make any contributions. Naturally, they will not be able to receive the same benefits as those who made contributions over those last 12 months “, the Prime Minister immediately warned.

In his speech, the prime minister said that the executive, over the course of this week, “will take another step” in relation to the public social security system.

The idea, according to António Costa, “is to open the door to all those who, for various reasons, either through choice or as a result of existing deregulations in the labour market,” have been working in deregulated circumstances “.

“This is the time for these citizens to put an end to deregularity and formalise their participation in the Social Security system. Come to Social Security, we are here to welcome you and offer you support. We don’t want to leave anyone behind during this crisis”, stressed the Prime Minister.

This widening of Social Security to informal workers had already been mentioned by Minister Ana Mendes Godinho in her brief speech at this opening of this session.