After the promulgation of Executive Order No. 927 (MP 927), Caixa Econômica Federal (CEF) published Circular No. 893, on March 25, to regulate the temporary suspension of the mandatory payment of FGTS for the periods of March, April, and May of 2020, in addition to guiding employers on the subject.

Referring to the text of MP 927, the circular reinforces that all employers may use the prerogative of temporary suspension, including families hiring domestic workers, regardless of prior adhesion. However, the requirement to declare the information by the 7th of each month (April, May, and June) was maintained through the Conectividade Social [“Social Connectivity”] or eSocial systems, as the case may be.

In order to declare the information, the circular guides employers who use the Sefip (Company FGTS Payment and Social Security Information System) to follow the guidelines contained in the GFIP/Sefip Manual for Sefip 8.4 Users in its chapter I, item 7.

Employers who use this platform must select mode 1 (Declaration to the FGTS and Social Security), which is intended for situations in which the FGTS due in the accrual month is not paid, so as acknowledge the FGTS debt.

The circular also instructs families hiring domestic workers who are eSocial users to observe the guidelines contained in the Domestic Employer ESocial Guidance Manual in its item 4, subitem 4.3. This means that they must issue the eSocial Collection Document (DAE) payment form, but they are exempted from printing it and settling it.

In the event that the employer does not provide the FGTS with the information by the 7th of each month of accrual, the employer must do so no later than June 20, 2020. If these deadlines are duly observed and met, no fines and charges shall be levied due in the manner set forth in article 22 of Law No. 8,036/90. Otherwise, the accruals relating to the months of March, April, and May of 2020 will be considered to be arrears and will be subject to fines and charges, in addition to other penalties provided for by applicable law and regulations.

Reinforcing the text of MP 927, the circular published by the CEF highlights that the information provided constitutes a declaration and recognition of the resulting credits, constitutes an acknowledgment of debt, and constitutes an adequate and sufficient instrument for the payment of the FGTS debt.

Once the period for suspension of the obligation to pay the FGTS is over, employers may opt for installment payment of the amount due within up to six payments, that is to say, December of 2020, as already provided for in MP 927. However, no minimum amount may be applied to the installments: the full amount must be divided equally and the interest of the employer (domestic or otherwise) may be accelerated.

If the employment contract is terminated during the period of suspension of payment or payment in installments, the deferment of payment forfeits its effects and the employer is obliged to pay the amounts, including any outstanding installments. In both cases, no fines and charges are levied, as long as the payment is made within the legal deadline established.

MP 927 had already pointed out that default on installments resulting from an ongoing Debt Instalment Agreement that would mature in March, April, and May of 2020 does not constitute an impediment to the issuance of a certificate of good FGTS standing. However, the circular clarified that these installments were not covered by the prerogative of deferment in payment - default thereon will result in the collection of the fines and charges provided for in article 22 of Law No. 8,036/90.

The operational procedures for payment and installment plans dealt with in the circular will be detailed in the operational manuals that regulate them.