DECREE LAW 10- A/2020 OF 13TH MARCH
Following the pandemic declared situation, with serious risk to public health, the government adopted, among several other, measures to protect employees and self- employed workers in the general social security system.
In this context, the Government has decided to equate sickness with preventative isolation for the period of 14 days decreed by the health authorities and, this time, to ensure recognition of the right to sick benefit for these employees, corresponding to their entire pay.
In this case the grant is not subject to any waiting period.
These measures also protect employees who have to be absent in order to accompany, within 14 days, the prophylactic isolation of their children or dependents, such absences being considered justified. In the case of children under 12 years old or with a disability or chronic illness, employees are entitled to childcare allowance and grandchild care allowance, paid in an amount equivalent to 100% of their remuneration, with no required guarantee period, i.e. no minimum social security contributions.
Employees’ absence shall also be considered justified on the grounds of care for a dependent child or dependent under the age of 12, or with a chronic illness or disability, and shall not entail any loss of rights, where duly established by the competent health authorities or government. The employee is entitled to care allowance in the event of illness of a child or grandchild, paid by the social security authorities.
In situations where employees have to care for a child under 12 years of age or with a chronic illness or disability due to the forced school break, they can benefit from a monthly support corresponding to 2/3 of their remuneration, paid in equal parts by the employer and Social security, with a minimum national minimum wage of EUR 635 and a maximum of three national minimum wages of EUR 1905. This support depends on the application to social security and only in case other ways of being able to provide the activity are not justified.
It should be clarified that in the same family (household) only 1 parent can benefit from this support, since the same is not valid for both parents simultaneously.
Extraordinary protection measures were also adopted for the families of self- employed workers. These workers, also in the situations mentioned above, where they cannot normally continue their activity due to the care of children under 12 years old or with chronic illness or disability, or grandchildren, are entitled to financial support provided they have fulfilled their contribution obligation for at least 3 consecutive months. The support will be equivalent to 1/3 of the monthly reference pay considered for contribution purposes in the first quarter of 2020. In this case the limits are based on IAS (EUR 438,81), the minimum being 1 IAS and the maximum 2 1⁄2 IAS.
All these supports depend on application, again as long as the self-employed worker is unable to continue the activity in other ways. Here too, only one parent can benefit from this support, as it cannot apply to both simultaneously.
Cláudia Vaz Póvoa
17th March 2020