The government believes there are conditions to ease pre-Easter restrictions, but “what” and “at what speed” have not yet been decided. This was the position of Economy Minister Pedro Siza Vieira at the end of the meeting of the Permanent Commission on Social Coordination (CPCS) that took place in Lisbon this Wednesday.
The meeting, the economy minister said, served to listen to employers and trade union federations on the situation of the pandemic, who agreed that the deflation process must start “as soon as possible” and some left suggestions as to the pace and activities covered.
Pedro Siza Vieira added that the government is listening to the various sensitivities in order to make a decision “as best as possible” and with “caution” without giving details of what is being prepared or which sectors of the economy may resume. .
Even so, it signaled that there are conditions for action to be taken to ease restrictions before Easter. “There are currently the lowest rates of new infections in Europe and the rate of growth of the disease is relatively controlled. There are conditions to do something before Easter – what will not be decided and at what speed, ”said the minister.
“The big difficulty is that there are no absolute rules that we can follow. The recommendations of epidemiologists also differ in intensity and measures. The decisions that can be made can not only take into account epidemiological problems that are important, but there are also other relevant ones, ”emphasized Pedro Siza Vieira.
The government official also refused to say what the government was up to regarding the opening of schools and limited himself to conveying the “sensibility” of employers’ and trade union federations who, in his opinion, defend personal defense, teaching should be at the lowest Start level of education.
Partners demand relief when teleworking
Another issue was telework, which is currently compulsory across the national territory (provided the activity is compatible). Bosses and unions, the Economy Minister guaranteed, left the message that “the continuation of teleworking as it happens is not a desirable thing that lasts”.
But here, too, Siza Vieira remained cautious and without foreseeing what the government’s position would be.
“The recommendation of the experts is that teleworking should be maintained during the entire de-definition process if possible. Some social partners, both union and employer, said it was advisable to consider revising the conditions for teleworking, but we have come to no conclusion, ”he said.
Economic support presented on Friday
The Minister of Economic Affairs also announced that the Council of Ministers would discuss strengthening support for companies and workers in the childbirth phase this Thursday and present the measures on Friday.
“We know that this restriction was relatively long-lived, and so we felt the need to step up support for employment and other costs that businesses have, as well as fiscal measures to relieve the public purse,” he insisted, without that promote measurement design.
When asked about support from companies that are forced to raise the minimum wage to € 665 in 2021, Siza Vieira is sticking to its intention to have it on site by the end of March and admits to expanding it to more situations than originally announced.
Companies should therefore support in connection with the increase in costs with the uniform social security rate (TSU) due to the increase in the minimum wage and – as is now known – due to the increase in remuneration close to the minimum wage and the collective agreements obtained on the basis of the minimum wage.
“When we announced the measure, we didn’t think about going beyond those workers who had a 2020 minimum wage. However, they have already brought us to different sensitivities regarding borderline situations and this must also be revised in the same terms due to collective bargaining rules. We’re thinking about it, we haven’t made a decision, ”he said.
Regarding the support currently in place, Labor Minister Ana Mendes Godinho said the simplified layoff currently includes 53,000 companies and 272,000 workers, while the reconstruction support employs 21 companies and 158 workers.