President Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday morning that he will issue two provisional decrees to avoid massive layoffs due to the coronavirus crisis. One of them will cost roughly BRL 58 billion to his administration and allows companies to reduce working hours and salaries for three months — the government would compensate workers. “[Companies] can slash working days by 20, 25, 30 percent, the federal government will cover the difference,” said Economy Minister Paulo Guedes. “We are paying companies to keep jobs, which the president promised to do, to fight for the preservation of jobs.”
The other decree will open a BRL 40-billion credit line to allow companies to honor their payroll commitments. The government will answer for BRL 34 billion of these loans, with banks picking up the remaining amount. “For those who save jobs, we’ll pick up the slack and offer credit,” said Mr. Guedes.