The meeting of the Council of Ministers held yesterday afternoon resulted in a new set of extraordinary measures to respond to the epidemiological situation of the new Coronavirus – COVID 19, from which we selected the ones that have an impact on companies and businesses.
In the work context, we present the measures that we consider most relevant:
• Measures to support and protect workers and employers
An exceptional and temporary measure to protect jobs is established through measures such as the temporary reduction of normal working hours or the suspension of employment contracts under the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is awaited the publication of decree-law, which repeals Ordinance No. 71-A/2020, introducing, among others, the extension of the scope of the measure “simplified lay-off” to a set of broader situations, namely:
- undertakings or establishments whose total or partial closure has been ordered by decision of the political or health authorities;
- undertakings experiencing a total or partial stop page of their activity resulting from the disruption of global supply chains, or the suspension or cancellation of orders;
- The sharp drop of at least 40 in voicing, by reference to the previous month or homologous period.
Assumption: The approved diploma stipulates that during the period of reduction or suspension, as well as within 60 days of its application, the employer may not terminate employment contracts, through collective dismissal or by termination of the job, workers covered by the support measures.
Today should be available on the Social Security website, the form so that companies can apply for support.
It is also awaiting the publication of the diploma that approved the deferral of obligations before the Tax Authority and Social Security for the coming months.
• Measures relating to health and family protection
An exceptional and temporary system of justified absences motivated by family assistance has been adopted, reinforcing the measures already taken, and the need for assistance to relatives in the ascending straight line that is the worker and who frequents social equipment whose activity is suspended.
In the tax field, we highlight the following exceptional measures decided yesterday in the Council of Ministers:
- Late payment regime for housing and non-housing rents
A bill was approved, to be submitted to the Assembly of the Republic, which creates an exceptional and temporary regime of late payment in the payment of rents – housing and non-housing. In addition, it enables the Institute of Housing and Urban Rehabilitation (IHRU) to grant loans to pay rent to tenants who have suffered income breaks.
- Municipal Adjustment Programs (WFP)
An exceptional compliance regime has been established for the measures provided for in the Municipal Adjustment Programmes (WFP), applicable until June 30, 2020, for municipalities that are in the Municipal Support Fund. The exceptional regime exempts these municipalities from restrictions when it comes to carrying out social support expenses to citizens affected by COVID-19, the purchase of medical equipment and other expenses associated with combating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a view to expanding the provision of support to their populations, by all municipalities, also the indebtedness resulting from these expenses will not be considered to assess compliance with the limits on indebtedness by the municipalities.
- Cultural and artistic scope
Exceptional and temporary measures were also established in the cultural and artistic sphere, especially regarding unperformed shows, between February 28, 2020 and up to 90 working days after the end of the state of emergency.
The measure aims to ensure special protection for cultural actors involved in carrying out these shows, as well as to guarantee consumer rights.
In the context of the support and protection of families, companies and other entities of the social economy, some financial measures were also decided:
- 6-month moratorium on individual and business credits
In order to ensure the strengthening of the treasury and liquidity of households, companies and other entities of the social economy, mitigating the effects of the reduction in economic activity, a 6-month moratorium was approved until 30 September 2020, which provides for the prohibition of revocation of the lines of credit contracted, the extension or suspension of credits until the end of this period, in order to ensure the continuity of financing to families and companies and to prevent possible non-compliance.
- Electronic payment instruments
In order to facilitate and encourage the use of electronic payment instruments (card-based payments), the suspension of commissions on payment transactions has been established. In addition, beneficiaries providing automatic payment terminals may not refuse or limit the acceptance of cards for payment of any goods or services, regardless of the value of the transaction.
Context of support and incentives
Also in the context of support and incentives, the amendment of some of the rules for the implementation of the European Structural and Investment Funds was adopted, namely:
• Capitalize Line – COVID-19:
- Increase in the allocation to EUR 400 million;
- repeal of the requirement of companies to prove the negative impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak on their activity (verification of a drop in turnover in the last 30 days of at least 20 compared to the 30 days immediately preceding);
- For companies with less than 1 year of activity, and not being able to submit to IES, banks should analyze document (2019 accounts) or interim balance sheet in order to verify that the company does not have negative Equity;
- Created FAQ’s document – Link
• Portugal 2020 – COVID-19:
- Created FAQ’s document – Link
How can Moneris help?
Our vast and multidisciplinary team of professionals, which operates in the most different areas of management, promotes a holistic approach in responding to this extraordinary situation, both in crisis management and strategic redefinition, in the information of support for the taking decision-making, minimising its tax and labour effects, optimising national and European support and incentives, as well as relaunching the activity after the critical period.
Our mission has always been to support our customers, create value and exceed their expectations. In this time of greatest difficulty, we are even more committed to helping us to overcome this challenging moment together.