Portugal: Over 100,000 self-employed ask for support for reduced activity

More than 100,000 self-employed workers in Portugal, who saw their economic activity reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, have applied for the government’s extraordinary support, the Ministry of Labour said on Sunday.

Since the support line was opened last Wednesday, 102,708 self-employed workers have applied, the ministry said, in a statement released on Sunday.

According to the ministry, a further 17,397 independent workers have applied for the exceptional family support measure, following the suspension of teaching and non-teaching activities in person.

The support was created in the context of the pandemic, guaranteeing an extraordinary support mechanism that did not exist and that left these workers unprotected, the government said.

Last Tuesday, the ministry explained that the extraordinary support of, at most, €438.81, for the fall of activity for the self-employed, will be paid in April.

This support is intended for self-employed workers who in the last 12 months have paid social security contributions for at least three consecutive months and who are in a situation where their activity or the activity of their respective sector has stopped as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Workers are entitled to financial support corresponding to the amount of remuneration recorded as a contributory base, with the limit of a Social Support Index, i.e. up to €438.81.

The financial support last for one month, extendable up to a maximum of six months.

Workers may also postpone the payment of social contributions for the months in which they were receiving the support.

The new coronavirus, responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, has infected more than 1.2 million people worldwide, more than 65,000 of whom have died.

More than 233,000 are considered cured.

In Portugal, according to the balance made on Sunday by the Directorate-General of Health, there were 295 deaths, 29 more than the day before (+11%), and 11,278 cases of confirmed infections, which represents an increase of 754 compared to Friday (+7.2%).