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Updated on: 25 March, 2020
Similar to surrounding countries, the new cases of infected people in Portugal are increasing every day. The knowledge acquired today and the experience of other countries advise that identical measures be adopted in Portugal, always in close articulation with the European authorities.
Portugal has declared the state of emergency, based on the verification of a situation of public calamity per March 18th, in effect until 2nd of April. (Source: www.portugal.gov.pt) The country’s officials follow the World Health Organization guidelines and have issued a decree covering the entire national territory.
The Portuguese government calls on all employees to work from home as much as possible. Textile and garment factories are currently working with 20 or 30% of their total capacity, contributing to the slow down of the spreading of the virus. This means that the majority of factory workers are being sent home. Travel is very restricted, meetings are banned and all schools are closed.
Portugal has over 12,000 textile and clothing companies, with 140,000 employees. Many textile companies are facing bankruptcy as revenues fall sharply in this time of crisis. Customers are cancelling orders and capacity is brought back to a minimum. Several factories are switching their business over to the production of safety masks and overalls for medical staff.
The Portuguese government presented several measures aimed at relieving pressure from companies’ finances. Commitments that would be due to the banking system, social security and the tax system have been alleviated.
With these measures, the government ensures that companies in the most affected sectors are available to fulfil other commitments, particularly to their workers.
The government has announced four credit lines through banking institutions and guaranteed by the State, in addition to the general line, which covers all economic sectors. The companies’ access to the available credit lines will be conditional on the maintenance of jobs. In total, these new lines of credit represent EUR 3 billion of additional financing to the economy, with a grace period of up to 12 months, and are amortised for up to four years.
For the textile, clothing, footwear and wood industries a total of EUR 1.3 billion will be made available, of which EUR 400 million will be for micro and small companies.
Who is it for? Microenterprises, SMEs with:
What are the conditions? Maximum per company: 1.5 million euros.
The government has set up a page with detailed information for both workers and companies: https://covid19estamoson.gov.pt This page lists specific questions and answers regarding sick leave, child care support, health authorities, etc.
The most relevant ones:
Forms needed to identify workers in isolation can be found here: http://www.seg-social.pt/formularios
No specific information available.
Most labour unions follow the guidelines of the National Health Institution, SNS, reposting them on their own website. See, for example: http://www.sindeq.pt
The main focus so far has been sharing the official guidelines of the government, containing economic measures and available resources.
No information currently available.