(Feb. 19, 2009) On February 11, 2009, Brazil's Ministry of Labor extended the payment of unemployment insurance (seguro-desemprego) to sectors of the economy that are facing high levels of unemployment. In order to assess which sectors will be granted the extension, the Ministry will calculate the average number of layoffs that occurred in the months of December 2008 and January and February 2009. Initially, the payment was made for a period ranging from three to five months; the Ministry has now extended the payment of the benefit to five to seven months.
According to the Minister of Labor, Carlos Lupi, if Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva deems it necessary to further extend the payment period, the benefit can be paid for up to ten months through the issuance of a Provisional Measure to that effect. (Seguro-Desemprego Poderá Ser Pago por Até Sete Meses, AGÊNCIA BRASIL, Feb. 11, 2009, available at http://www.agenciabrasil.gov.br/noticias/2009/02/11/materia.2009-02-11.3771998