Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Portugal, both the Portuguese Parliament and the Portuguese Government have shown great willingness to respond to the issues created by the current pandemic, with several laws approved in the last three months.
In this post, we highlight the Portuguese Decree-Law no. 20-G/2020, published on May 14, in which a system of safety incentives in micro, small and medium-sized companies is approved, in the context of the current COVID-19 disease.
The Decree-Law under analysis is crucial for the post-COVID Portuguese economic scenario, based on the end of the State of Emergency and the current State of Calamity, having created the ‘ADAPTAR’ (which means ADAPT) Program. Faithful to its name, this program aims to support companies in adapting their activities to the new pandemic context conditions, so that all rules and recommendations in force are complied with.
The program contains some eligibility criteria depending on the size of the company. For example, for micro-enterprises, they should aim to make an investment of between EUR 500 and EUR 5000 in eligible expenses, to adapt the company’s activity to the context of the current pandemic, ensuring the safety of workers, customers and relations with suppliers, complying with the established standards and the recommendations of the relevant authorities.
As for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs), they should aim to make an investment of between EUR 5,000 and EUR 40,000 in eligible expenses for the qualification of processes, organzations, products and services, including the adaptation of their establishments, methods of organizing work and relations with customers and suppliers to the new conditions in the context of the current pandemic, ensuring compliance with the established standards and recommendations of the competent authorities.
The program provides for an incentive rate of 80% on eligible expenses for micro-enterprises and 50% for SMBs. Eligible expenses include, for example, the purchase of necessary personal protective equipment, such as masks, gloves, visors and others; the purchase and installation of automatic payment devices, covering those using contactless technology; the reorganisation and adaptation of workplaces and space layout to the guidelines and good practices of the current context; the contracting of disinfection services for a maximum period of 6 months; the expenditure of certified accountants or statutory auditors in validating the expenditure of payment requests.
Lastly, it should be noted that companies from all economic activities are eligible for the program, with the exception of the fisheries, aquaculture, primary agricultural production and forestry sectors, as well as the sector of processing and marketing of agricultural products listed in Annex I to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the processing and marketing of forestry products. Companies with the following PPA (Portuguese Classification of Economic Activities, revised by Decree-Law No 381/2007 of 14 November 2007) are also prevented from competing in the program under analysis: financial and insurance – divisions 64 to 66, defense – subclasses 25402 and 30400 and lotteries and other betting games – division 92.
Lexidy’s team of lawyers is available to assist your company applying for this program and others that are in force.