Government proposal for an "Anti-unemployment programme" due to the pandemic

In order to preserve businesses, the government announced on 3/18/2020 that it will launch a package of measures ("Anti-Unemployment Program") that will hit labor relations.

The idea is to allow exceptional working conditions to be adopted during the period when the country is being hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which is estimated to occur until June 2020.

The Consolidation of Labor Laws, in its article 501, defines force majeure as "all events unavoidable in relation to the employer's will, and for which the employer did not contribute, directly or indirectly".

Thus, regardless of the publication of the provisional measure, article 503 of the CLT, in the event of force majeure, allows the proportional reduction of wages, which, however, cannot exceed 25%, respecting the minimum wage of the region.

The CLT will not be changed, but may not be applied at this time.

One of the proposed measures is the reduction of the working day by up to 50%, with the respective reduction of the salary (never less than the minimum wage).

The government has also promised to relax the rules relating to the bank of hours, the granting of collective vacation, the anticipation of holidays and non-religious holidays.

The payment of FGTS on a deferred basis will also be allowed.

The measures should be instituted by Provisional Measure, not yet published.

While the government's package is not implemented, it is worth highlighting the alternatives provided in the CLT to minimize the risks of contagion and reduce economic risks in labor relations.


In view of the circumstances of temporary interruption of business activities, granting of collective vacation or anticipation of vacations are feasible measures.

The grant of collective leave may cover all the company's employees or certain establishments or sectors of the company (art. 139, caput, CLT).

According to article 139, paragraphs 2 and 3, it is necessary to inform the administrative authority and the employees' union of such concession 30 days in advance. This requirement will certainly be removed by the provisional measure proposed by the government.

The anticipation of vacations is supported by art. 136 of the CLT, and the time of the vacation is the one that best meets the interests of the employer.


It is also possible to grant paid leave to an employee on quarantine or isolation leave.

In this case, wages for the days of absence must be paid and absences must be excused. If the leave of absence exceeds 30 days, the employee cannot use the proportional vacation of the acquisition period.

An alternative that has been widely used is the provision of home officeservices .

Telework is already provided for in art. 75-C of the CLT and must be expressly stated in the individual employment contract.

In view of the pandemic caused by Covid-19, the use of remote work is temporary and may dispense with some formal steps, provided that the limits established in the CLT and in the employment contract are respected.


Despite the recommendation of social isolation and assuming that the employee performs his meals at home, it is recommended the payment of the meal voucher during the eventual practice of home office.

The payment of transportation vouchers, on the other hand, is debatable. Considering that the payment is computed by counting the days actually worked and that the work will be performed at the worker's home, there would be no need for such payment.

Companies are free to maintain the benefits at their discretion.


It is clarified that the solutions indicated are exceptional and for any measure to be taken the principle of reasonableness should be applied.

Importantly, the parties may spontaneously make adjustments that best meet the needs and interests of both so that these exceptional circumstances have the least possible impact on employees and employers.

For further information, the firm's Labor Team is at your disposal.