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Employment contract and term contract

What types of employment contract are there?

Employment contracts can be fixed-term or unfinished-term, whether or not they have a predefined duration.
In the case of fixed-term contracts, they may still be fixed or uncertain.

Do all employment contracts have to be in writing?

The written form is only compulsory in the following cases expressly laid down in law:

  • Official Job Offer Agreement;
  • Teleworker employment contract;
  • Term contract;
  • Employment contract with a foreign worker, except for when otherwise legally provided for;
  • Special Relationship employment contract;
  • Multi-employer contract;
  • Part-time Employment Contract;
  • Pre-retirement Contract;
  • Casual Employment Contract.

Is it possible to dismiss a worker with a term contract?

Yes, under the same circumstances that a worker contracted without a term may be dismissed.

What is the right to preferential admission?

Up to 30 days after the contract has ended, the worker has preference for a contract under the same conditions, whenever the employer recruit’s workers from outside the company to perform functions identical to those for which they were originally contracted.

What happens if the right to preferential admission is not honoured?

If the right to preferential admission is breached, the employer must pay the worker the equivalent of three months basic wages as compensation.

What information and documents should be provided to the worker at the beginning of the working relationship?

Both the employer and the worker have the mutual duty to provide information about relevant aspects of the employment contract.
The employer must inform the worker about the following aspects of the employment contract:

  • Identification, place of work, main office and home address of the employer;
  • Occupational category and a short description of functions;
  • Date the contract is signed and comes into force;
  • Foreseeable duration of the contract;
  • Duration of holidays and criteria for fixing their dates;
  • Conditions of payment;
  • Normal daily and weekly work period specifying the cases in which it is defined as an average;
  • Collective regulatory instrument applicable.

This compulsory information should be given in writing, applies to all contracts and must be officially signed by the employer.
If the contract is in writing, this compulsory information is considered to have been provided as long as the elements referred to in the previous paragraph are included.
The employer should fulfill this obligation during the first 60 days of the contract, even if it finishes before the end of the period.
Furthermore, when the worker has an employment contract regulated by Portuguese law, but conducts their activities in another Member State and if the work lasts for longer than 30 days, the employers should give the worker the following additional written information before their departure:

  • Probable duration of the period of work to be carried out abroad;
  • Currency and place of payment;
  • Conditions for possible repatriation and access to health care.

If the worker has no written contract, how long does it take for them to become a permanent member of staff in the company?

As soon as the trial period is over, because the employer may freely terminate the contract during this period.