COVID-19: cross-sector measures adopted by Brazil’s federal government to fight the coronavirus outbreak

Provisional Measures nº 926 and 928/2020 modified Law nº 13.979/2020, which foresees measures that could be adopted in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other points, MP 926/2020 eases rules for the acquisition of goods, services and supplies to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, waiving the bidding requirement. It states the competence of the President of the Republic to indicate which public services are essential and, therefore, cannot be interrupted during the pandemic. It also reserves for the federal government, through the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa), the indication of need for limitation of interstate and intercity movement of people and goods as well as closing of borders.

Provisional Measure nº 927/2020 states actions and measures in the labor sphere, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other points, it provides for home office (including trainees), the use of the hour bank, the anticipation of federal, state and municipal holidays (except religious ones), anticipation of individual vacation period (even for new workers who are not yet eligible), the concession of collective vacations, postponement of payment of the Severance Indemnity Fund (FGTS) contribution, and the reduction of hours and wages, among other measures.

Note: Provisional Measures are norms with force of law, issued by the President of the Republic in situations of relevance and urgency. Despite producing immediate legal effects, Provisional Measures need further consideration by the Houses of Congress (Chamber and Senate) to become ordinary law.