Decree-Law No. 12/2013 of 25 January came to institute an innovative social protection regime for statutory bodies that exercise administrative and management functions and for self-employed workers with business activities in the event of unemployment due to cessation of professional activity.

As part of the Government's commitment under the Tripartite Social Conciliation Agreement, this regime followed in the footsteps of Decree-Law No. 65/2012 of 15 March, a diploma that had already instituted a social protection regime for self-employed workers considered economically dependent.

As it is a contributory social protection regime, it was necessary to change the contributory rates of members of Organs statutory bodies with management or administration functions, which from the 2013 State Budget increased from 20.3% to the company and from 9.3% in charge of said members to 23.75% and 11%, respectively.

With regard to self-employed workers who are active as sole proprietors and holders of limited liability individual establishments, the rate also changed to 34.75%. The spouses of these self-employed workers who work with them regularly and permanently are also subject to this rate.

As a measure of social support with a view to protection in the event of unemployment of self-employed workers with business activities and members of statutory bodies of legal persons, and like unemployment benefits, it is also necessary in this case that the closure of the company or the termination professional activity has been involuntary.

The law considers unemployment “any situation of loss of income resulting from the closing of a company or from the termination of professional activity involuntarily by the beneficiary with the capacity and availability for work and registered for employment at the employment center” (art. 2 of Decree-Law No. 12/2013 of 25 January).

Who are the beneficiaries then?

As already mentioned, the beneficiaries are self-employed workers with business activities and members of the statutory bodies of legal persons who exercise management or administrative functions.

Regarding the framework of self-employed workers, paragraph 2 of art. 3 of Decree-Law No. 12/2013 of 25 January considers independent workers with business activities:

a) Individual entrepreneurs with income from the exercise of any commercial or industrial activity, under the terms of paragraph a) of paragraph 1 of article 3 of the Income Tax Code for Individuals;

b) the owners of individual limited liability establishments;

c) the spouses of the self-employed workers referred to in the previous paragraphs who carry out (effective) professional activity with them on a regular and permanent basis.

The law excludes from the scope of protection, agricultural producers who exercise effective professional activity on the farm and the respective spouses who effectively and regularly exercise activity on the farm (art. 3, nº 3 of Decree-Law nº 12/2013 of 25 January ).

What does social support consist of and what are the conditions for attribution?

Social protection is ensured through the granting of an allowance for termination of professional activity and a partial allowance for termination of professional activity.

These subsidies, according to the law, "aim to compensate the loss of income of independent workers with business activity, as well as of managers and directors of legal persons, as a result of the cessation of professional activity for justified reasons that determine the closure of the company" (Article 4 of Decree-Law No. 12/2013 of 25 January).

The recognition of the right to subsidies for termination of professional activity depends on the cumulative fulfillment of the following conditions (articles 7, 8 and 9 of Decree-Law No. 12/2013 of 25 January):

a) Closure of the company or termination of professional activity involuntarily;

b) Compliance with the 720-day guarantee period for exercising professional activity, with the corresponding record of remuneration in a period of 48 months immediately prior to the date of cessation of activity, which for this purpose corresponds to the day immediately following that on which the closure of the company or the termination of professional activity involuntarily;

c) Contributory situation regularized before social security, both for the company and for the company;

d) Loss of income that determines the cessation of activity;

e) Registration at the employment center in the area of ​​residence for employment purposes.

The right to these subsidies is not, however, recognized to the beneficiaries who, at the date of closing the company or terminating their professional activity involuntarily, have the legal age of access to the old age pension, provided that the respective guarantee period has been met (art. .7, no. 3, of Decree-Law no. 12/2013 of 25 January).

The attribution of the partial allowance for termination of professional activity also depends on the fulfillment of certain special conditions, and proof of the type of activity performed and of the monthly remuneration for part-time work or on the gross amount of the independent activity (art. 14 of Decree-Law No. 12/2013 of 25 January).

What is the amount of the allowance for termination of employment?

The daily allowance+ amount is 65% of the reference remuneration and is calculated on the basis of 30 days per month (art. 11, no. 1, of Decree-Law no. 12/2013 of 25 January).

In turn, the reference remuneration "corresponds to the average daily remuneration defined by R / 360, where R represents the total remuneration recorded in the 12 calendar months preceding the 2nd month prior to the date of termination of professional activity" (art. 11, no. 2, of Decree-Law no. 12/2013 of 25 January).

The allowance is granted upon application submitted at the employment center of the beneficiary's area of ​​residence or on the social security website, within 90 consecutive days from the date of the closure of the company or the cessation of professional activity, and must be preceded registration for employment at the employment center (art. 12, paragraphs 1 and 2, of Decree-Law no. 12/2013 of 25 January).

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Article source: e-konomist