Portugal: Creation and regulation of the AVANÇAR program
This program grants financial support to employers who enter open-ended employment contracts with young unemployed persons aged 35 or under.
Ordinance no. 187/2023, of July 3 was published in the Official Gazette, which creates and regulates the AVANÇAR program.
The AVANÇAR program grants financial support to employers who enter open-ended employment contracts with young unemployed persons aged 35 or under, with higher education qualifications and whose wages are equal to or higher than EUR 1.330 registered with the Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional, I.P. ("IEFP")v.
The following support is granted under these measures.
i. Financial support for hiring
The employer is entitled to a financial support for hiring, under the following terms:
- 18 times the value of the social support index (Eur 8.647,74), hereinafter referred to as IAS, for applications submitted during the years 2023 and 2024;
- 12 times the value of the IAS (Eur 5.765,16), for the applications presented during the year 2025;
- 10 times the value of the IAS (Eur 4.804,30), for the applications presented during the year 2026.
Note 1: An increase is applicable under the following conditions:
- 4.2 times the value of the IAS (Eur 2,017.806), when it concerns the hiring of unemployed young person with disability and incapacity;
- 3 times the value of the IAS (Eur 1,441.29), when the job in question is located inland, under the terms set out by Ordinance No. 208/2017, of July 13
- 3 times the amount of the IAS (Eur 1,441.29), when the employer is a party to a Collective Bargaining Agreement (‘CBA’);
- 3 times the value of the IAS (Eur 1,441.29), when the recruitment of a long-term unemployed young person is in question.
Note 2: the referred increases are not cumulative.
Note 3: the employer is entitled to financial support calculated proportionally to the work done, whenever the following cumulative conditions are met: i) the supported employment contract is suspended (e.g. illness, lay-off, parental leave); ii) the employee’s absence for a period exceeding 1 month; iii) in the 36th month after the starting date of the permanent contract, the employee still has not rendered 24 full months of work.
ii. Financial support for the payment of social security contributions
The financial support corresponds to half of the value of the social security contribution payable by the employer, in relation to the supported employment contracts, during the first year of their duration, with the following characteristics:
- The financial support amount foreseen in the previous number is calculated considering the base retribution established in the contracts to be supported and with reference to a period of 14 months.
- The financial support may not exceed the limit of seven times the value of the IAS (Eur 3,363.01).
- Whenever in the first year of the contract the supported work is suspended (in the terms referred in note 3), the entity is entitled to the financial support calculated in proportion to the work rendered and remunerated when, in the 36th month after the starting date of the permanent contract, there are not 12 complete months of work rendered by the supported worker.
iii. Financial support for the autonomy of young people
Eligible recipients, being the work contracts concluded with i) young people aged 35 or under, ii) with level 5, 6, 7 or 8 qualifications of the National Qualifications Framework iii) registered with the IEFP as unemployed, are entitled to a financial support corresponding to Eur 150, during the first year of the supported work contract.
The recipient must meet the following requirements in order to have access to the financial support
- Be registered on the iefponline portal and have subscribed to the IEFP, I. P. electronic notifications service on the same portal;
- Have a bank account in their own name;
- Not be in default of any financial support granted by the IEFP, I. P.
Note 1: The envisaged support is granted to recipients whose basic salary established in the work contract does not exceed 4 times the minimum monthly guaranteed salary (Eur 3.040).
Note 2: If the supported employment contract is terminated or the requirements for accessing the support (listed above in paragraphs a) b) and c) are not maintained during the first year of validity, the right to the financial support ceases, with the obligation to restitute the amounts unduly received (without prejudice to the provisions of note 3).
Note 3: In the case of dismissal for reasons imputable to the employee, unless the employee proves that he/she has filed a lawsuit against the employer or there is any form of simulation to access the support, without prejudice to the exercise of the right to complain due to possible evidence of a crime, the total refund of the support will be determined.
Note 4: The financial support can only be granted once per eligible beneficiary, for the maximum period of 12 months, regardless of the number of employment contracts concluded and supported by this measure.
The employer will receive the majority of the new employment financial support right from the beginning of the employment, but it will have to wait to receive the rest:
- 60% of the value of the financial support is paid after the beginning of all supported employment contracts, within a maximum of 20 working days after their presentation to the IEFP, I. P.;
- The remaining 40% are extended in two time: 20% will be paid in the 13th month of the validity of the last contract initiated and the remaining 20% in the 25th month of the validity of the last contract initiated.
The support foreseen in the present programme cannot be accumulated with other direct support to employment applicable to the same job.
This support can rather be cumulative with employment incentive measures of a fiscal or para-fiscal nature.
Note 1: In situations where the employer benefits cumulatively from this program with employment incentive measures of a fiscal or para-fiscal nature, no financial support will be granted for the payment of social security contributions.
Individuals or legal entities of a private nature, either profit-making or non-profit-making, that meet certain requirements, such as being regularly incorporated and registered, meeting the legal requirements to carry out their activity, having their tax and social security situation up to date, may apply for this measure, not being in default with regard to financial support granted by the IEFP or the European Structural and Investment Funds, having organized accounts, as well as not being in arrears with salary payments and not having been convicted in serious or very serious criminal or administrative proceedings for violation of labor laws.
Also included in this measure are companies that are in the Special Revitalisation Process (PER) or the Extrajudicial Company Recovery Regime (RERE). In this case, the requirement of not having overdue wages is not applicable.
Requirements for the extension of the new employment financial support
The granting of financial support depends on the following requirements:
i. Publicity and registration of a job offer, on the portal https://iefponline.iefp.pt/ , signaled with the intention to apply for the measure;
ii. The conclusion of an open ended employment contract with an unemployed person registered with the IEFP, I.P.
Note 1: Employment contracts concluded without a fixed term, full time, with a basic salary equal to or higher than Eur 1.330 are eligible.
Note 2: Employment contracts signed between an employer or entity belonging to the same corporate group and an unemployed young person who was bound to the latter by an employment contract immediately before becoming unemployed are not eligible, except when the unemployment situation occurred more than 12 months ago or when the employment contract was signed under the regime for young people on school holidays, provided for in the Social Security Contributions Regime Code.
iii. The net creation of employment and the maintenance of the employment level achieved through the support;
Note 1: Net job creation is considered to exist when the employing entity reaches, through the supported employment contract, a total number of workers higher than the average number of workers registered in the 12 months preceding the month of registration of the offer.
Note 2: the granting of financial support to the employer provided for in the present decree-law determines the obligation to maintain the supported work contract and the level of employment achieved through the financial support for at least 24 months from the 1st month of the supported contract.
iv. The provision of vocational training during the duration of the support.
v. The compliance with the provisions of the respective collective work regulation instrument, namely in determining the retribution offered in the contract.
If the employer does not comply with the rules regarding financial support, the employer may have to return all or part of the support received to date: “the breach of any obligation related to the granted financial support under the present regulation implies the termination thereof” and “albeit the right to complain for possible indications of criminal practice”.
The restitution of the financial support shall be made within 60 days from the date of the notification referred to in the previous number, under penalty of the payment of late payment interest at the legal rate in force.
The opening and closing periods for applications to this programme are defined by decision of the IEFP, I.P. Board of Directors and published on the website www.iefp.pt. The notice announcing the opening and closing of applications discloses, namely, the opening and closing date, the respective budget allocation, which can be fixed per region.
The application is made through the portal https://iefponline.iefp.pt/, on the appropriate form, through the signposting of a job offer that meets the requirements for the concession of financial support and in which there is express expression of intent to submit an application to this measure. The decision is taken within 30 days from the date of submission.