Covid-19. Ombudsman asks the Government to solve problems that compromise the support for social protection of workers

On 7 January 2021, the Ombudsman sent an official letter to the Secretary of State for Social Security, drawing attention to various questions related to extraordinary support for social protection for workers that are compromising compliance with the provisions established in article 325-G of Law no. 2/2020, of 31 March (State Budget for 2021), added by Law no. 27-A/2020, of 24 July (Supplementary Budget).

Noting that this support was awarded to beneficiaries with delay due to the fact that regulation of the measure was only published on 23 October (Administrative Rule no. 250-B/2020), the Ombudsman drew attention, based on complaints that she has received, to the fact that there are requests in relation to which no decision has yet been issued, given that they remain in the system as "registered", and also to the fact that there are workers to whom support has not been paid in relation to the months of July and August 2020.

It was also pointed out that the lack of adequate and timely information about this support and, in many cases, the impossibility to access the application form, prevented many workers from exercising their right to this social protection measure. In this context, the Ombudsman suggests that an extraordinary deadline should be set for the presentation of requests related to previous months, or that another measure should be adopted that allows the regularisation of these situations of social unprotection.

Finally, the Ombudsman appealed to overcome the constraints of a technical nature, or of another nature, that prevent these workers from presenting a new request for access to support, noting many complaints denouncing the impossibility of reversing the annulment of the initial request.

The official letter may be consulted here [in Portuguese only].