Companies will only be able to access the new lay-off mechanism or the credit lines prepared to face the crisis caused by the new coronavirus pandemic if they keep their jobs. That was the counterpart demanded by the Government and that is the spirit of the measure. “We want to avoid redundancies at all costs. And the condition that we put on credit lines for companies. It is absolutely reasonable that it is required,” noted António Costa, on the day he presented the proposal. But not all workers can be protected.
According to the Jornal de Negócios, which had access to the preliminary decree-law designed by the Government, there is no reference to fixed-term workers, green receipts, on temporary work or on probation. This means that, in theory, companies can dismiss these workers and, even so, access the lay-off mechanism and the State's 3 billion euro emergency credit lines.
It is important to note that this is still a preliminary decree-law, so it may change. In Tuesday's biweekly debate, António Costa acknowledged that it was “impossible for the State to impose the closure of companies” without this being reflected in “their functioning”, so it was important to allow some “breathing mechanisms” and ensure the “essential : seek to preserve companies, preventing them from opening bankruptcy early, sustaining employment as far as possible, and sustaining family income, as far as possible ”.
Also according to the same newspaper, the decree provides that companies that resort to the new simplified lay-off cannot make collective redundancies or terminations for the extinction of jobs “within 60 days after the application” of the measure. And whoever does this will have to return the part of the support they received. In the case of companies that use credit lines, in addition to these criteria, they have to fulfill another one: maintain the level of employment that existed at the beginning of this period of crisis.