Social security pays out €371M in pandemic benefits to 1.5M people

  • Lusa
  • 12 May 2020

Portugal's social security system has so far paid out 371 million euros as part of support in the Covid-19 crisis.

Portugal’s social security system has so far paid out 371 million euros to around 1.5 million people as part of support in the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s employment minister said on Tuesday.

“At the moment, this support paid so far amounts to 371 million euros in benefits created in the last two months, covering around 1.5 million workers,” Ana Mendes Godinho said at a ceremony to mark the signing of a declaration by trade unions and employer organisations on their commitment to cooperating to relaunch the economy and of an agreement for cooperation between the main association for the hospitality sector, AHRESP, and the Directorate General of Health (DGS).

In the case of the simplified layoff programme approved by the government to help companies affected by the crisis, the minister said, support was currently being paid out “to 72,000 companies, covering 623,000 workers.”

She stressed what she called “the enormous effort” on the part of social security “to guarantee the capacity to respond in such a short time, in a context of great difficulties” faced by companies and workers.

“In a few weeks it has been possible, with everyone, to create several extraordinary measures of support to enterprises and workers, from support to job maintenance, support to the family, to self-employed workers and managing partners [because of] the reduction of the activity, and also the recent measure created of support for casual workers for them to enter the social protection system,” the minister said.

Regarding the declaration now signed by unions and employers, she described it as “a reflection of the collective effort” that has been made to face the Covid-19 pandemic and that “this is the time for the sustainable resumption of activities, the strengthening of support for businesses, employment and people.”