Labor and employment law in Portugal are governed by the Portuguese Constitution, the Labor Code, and Labor Procedural Code. Collective bargaining agreements cannot provide more favorable conditions than those prescribed by the law during their first two years of operation.
A standard workweek in Portugal is 40 hours, usually consisting of five eight-hour workdays, although the Labor Code emphasizes that employers have some flexibility in extending or reducing the workday under certain circumstances.
Labor Code, 2009 (as amended), arts. 203, 210, 213 (Portuguese).
Workers who provide additional work impeding the enjoyment of daily rest are entitled to remunerated compensatory rest equivalent to the hours of rest lacking, to be enjoyed within one of the following three working days. The worker who provides work on a compulsory weekly rest day is entitled to a remunerated compensatory rest day, to be enjoyed within one of the following three working days. The compensatory rest is marked by agreement between worker and employer or, failing that, by the employer. Overtime is paid based on hourly remuneration with the following accruals:
Overtime is limited to 175 hours per year for employees of small companies and 150 hours per year for larger companies. Overtime performed by part-time workers is limited to 80 hours per year, although it may increase to 130 hours per year with an individual written agreement and 200 hours per year with a collective agreement. Employers must report the amount of overtime performed by employees to the Ministry of Strategy and Planning. Employers may only require employees to work overtime:
Labor Code, 2009 (as amended), arts. 203, 211, 227-228, 268 (Portuguese).
Night shift work is defined as work performed during a period with a minimum duration of 7 hours and a maximum duration of 11 hours. Unless otherwise defined, night shift work is regarded as work between 10 p.m. on one day and 7 a.m. the next day. The normal working period of a night shift worker must not exceed 8 hours per day as a weekly average, calculated without counting the obligatory or any additional weekly rest days or public holidays. A night shift worker is considered to be one who does at least 3 hours’ normal work during a night shift every day.
The remuneration for night shift work is 25% more than that paid for equivalent work performed during the day, and may be offset, by collective regulation, by an equivalent reduction in the normal working period, or by a fixed increase in basic remuneration, provided that this does not represent a less favorable form of treatment for the employee. Night shift and shift work are subject to extra payment (night shift work is already included in the extra payment for shift work).
Employees may not work more than five hours without a rest break, which must be a minimum of one hour and a maximum of two hours. Labor Code, 2009 (as amended), arts. 203, 210, 213 (Portuguese).
Portugal generally has 13 compulsory public holidays:
Employers must give their workers either paid leave on these days or in an agreement between the employee and employer, the day off can be taken on another day. If an employee does work on the public holiday, they earn two times the regular rate of pay for work performed on the day. Labor Code, 2009 (as amended), arts. 234, 268 (Portuguese).
The worker who provides normal work on a holiday is entitled to compensatory rest lasting half the number of hours provided or a 50% increase in the corresponding remuneration, being the choice of the employer. Article 269 of the Labour Code (amended by Law No. 23/2012 of June 25.
Portuguese law guarantees 22 working days (not counting weekends) of annual leave for workers, due on January 1 each year. Several stipulations give specific guidance for employees who have fixed-term contracts:
Scheduling of annual leave is decided through an agreement between employer and employee. The leave can be broken into periods of no less than 10 days. Annual leave is usually taken in full as an uninterrupted period, but it can also be broken up into periods of no less than 10 days. Labor Code, 2009 (as amended), art. 238 (Portuguese).
Parents of a newborn are entitled to an initial period of parental leave of 4 or 5 months (paid at 100%), after the birth of the child, but if they decide to share their leave, its duration is extended to 6 months (paid at 80%), where each of the parents is individually entitled to a period of 30 consecutive days, or two periods of 15 consecutive days, after the mother’s obligatory period of leave – six weeks from the date of birth.
On the adoption of children under 15 years old, the parents have exactly the same rights and their leave is likewise increased by 30 days where more than one child is adopted.
Employees who have been employed and made contributions to the social security system for at least six months are entitled to between 120 and 180 days of paid maternity leave, up to 30 days of which can be taken by the pregnant employee before childbirth. Mother and father can divide the leave between them as long as:
If not shared, leave can be taken for 120 or 150 days; if shared, it can be increased to as much as 180 days. For leave to be considered “shared,” the parent taking the lesser amount must take at least 30 consecutive days or two periods of 15 consecutive days.
Parents who take 120 days of leave are entitled to compensation at 100 percent of their normal salary, whether the leave is shared or not. Parents who take 150 days of leave are entitled to 100 percent of compensation if the leave is shared, 80 percent if it is not. For multiple childbirths (twins, triplets, etc.), parents can take an extra 30 days of paid leave for each additional child. During a pregnancy, if it is determined there is a risk to the health of the mother or of the fetus if the mother continues to work, the mother can take as much leave as necessary prior to birth.
If a parent taking leave becomes physically or mentally incapacitated, the other parent can take the leave that the incapacitated parent was entitled to. If the mother becomes physically or mentally incapacitated or dies, the father is entitled to at least 30 days of leave. A working grandparent is entitled to 30 days of paid leave upon the birth of a grandchild if the parent of the grandchild is under the age of 16 and resides in the grandparent’s home. Employers must allow parents of children under the age of 3 to telework if such work is compatible with the employee’s duties. Maternity leave is borne by social security. Labor Code, 2009 (as amended), arts. 40-47 (Portuguese).
Fathers of a newborn can take paternal leave of 15 working days, followed or interpolated, within 30 days of the birth of the child, five of whom shall be taken consecutively immediately after the birth of the child. Fathers are also entitled to an optional leave of ten consecutive or non-consecutive working days, at the same time that the mother is taking her initial parental leave. Labor Code, 2009 (as amended), arts. 40-43 (Portuguese).
Upon completing the complementary parental leave, parents are entitled to a child’s assistance leave, consecutive or intermittent, up to the limit of two years of duration. In the case of a third child or more, the license provided for in the previous number is limited to three years.
Employees who have worked and made contributions to the social security system for at least six months and worked at least 12 days in the four months before the illness are entitled to sick leave at partial pay. Under the national health care system, employees are also entitled to medical benefits, subject to some cost sharing, that include general and specialist care, maternity care, hospitalization, surgery, and certain medicines.
For the first 90 days of sick leave, the social security system pays employees 65% of their average earnings. For the 91st to the 365th day of sick leave, the rate increases to 70%, and thereafter the rate is 75%. The rate is higher for employees who are diagnosed with tuberculosis. In cases of tuberculosis, employees who have up to two dependent family members receive 80% of average pay; those who have three or more dependent family members get full pay. The sick leave benefit in most cases starts after a three-day waiting period. The waiting period is waived in cases of hospitalization, tuberculosis or childbirth. The maximum duration of sick leave is 1,095 days (three years). There is no time limit with respect to benefits for cases of tuberculosis. Sickness Allowance.
Parents are entitled to a leave of up to 6 months, extendable to four years, to provide assistance to a child who suffers from a disability or a chronic disease.
Employees who pursue any level of academic education may be classed as a student-employee, which allows them to ask for their working hours to be adjusted around these activities or to be released from work for up to six hours a week to attend classes without losing any of their rights. Their absence from work on those days when they sit the associated examinations will also be justified.
Employees are also entitled to the following types of personal leave:
Other Leave: Labor Code, 2009 (as amended), arts. 49, 51, 131, 249 (Portuguese).
The employer may grant the worker, at his request a leave without pay for longer than 60 days for the frequency of training course administered under the responsibility of an educational or vocational training institution, or within the scope of a specific programme approved by the Competent authority.
Last updated on: December 7th, 2018