The information on this page does not exempt the consultation of the Labour Law in force. The contents herein may change at any time, in case of doubt, seek legal advice from a specialised professional.
Frequently asked questionsEmployment contract and term contract > Trial period > Termination of the employment contract > Suspension of the employment contract > Wages > Holidays, Bank holidays and Absences > Duration of work > Job location > Protection of maternity and paternity > Equal rights > Accidents at work and occupational illness > Working student system > Temporary work >
Employment contract and term contract
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.
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.
Yes, under the same circumstances that a worker contracted without a term may be dismissed.
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.
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.
The trial period is the initial period of the contract, of a duration laid down by law, and both parties have this period to find out whether they are interested in continuing the contractual relationship. The trial period is counted from the day the worker begins their activity, and specifically from the time they begin to attend training programmes, if the duration of the programmes does not exceed half of the trial period. Days taken off work, whether on leave or when excused from work, even when justified, and the suspension of the contract are not counted for the purposes of the trial period.
For permanent contracts the duration of the trial period is:
- 90 days for workers in general;
- 180 days for workers who hold positions of some technical complexity, with a high level of responsibility which require special qualifications, or employees in positions of trust;
- 240 days for management personnel and executive officers.
For term contracts, the duration of the trial period is:
- 30 days for contracts with a duration of over 6 months;
- 15 days for fixed-term contracts with a duration of under 6 months and for indefinite term contracts whose duration is not expected to exceed that limit.
Termination of the employment contract
Yes. During the trial period, both the employer and the worker have the right to rescind the contract without warning or invocation of just cause and without the right to any compensation, except where a written agreement stipulates otherwise.
But, if the trial period has exceeded 60 or 120 days, the employer must give 7 or 15 days notice of their intention to terminate the contract.
The employment contract lapses when:
- It reaches its term;
- In cases where it is unexpectedly, absolutely and definitively impossible for the worker to do their work or for the employer to receive it;
- When the worker retires due to age or disability;
- The employer dies, the company goes into liquidation or is closed totally and permanently.
When the term employment contract expires, at the initiative of the employer, the employee is entitled to compensation corresponding to 18 days of basic compensation and bounty payment for each full year of seniority.
In the case of expiration of an uncertain term contract, the employee will be entitled to the following compensation for expiration:
- 18 days of basic and daily remuneration for each full year of seniority, for the first three years of the contract;
- 12 days of basic remuneration and bounty payment for each full year of seniority, in subsequent years.
If the contract lapses on the retirement of the worker, they do not have the right to any compensation.
The Work Compensation Fund, is financed by employers, with monthly contributions, to ensure the worker's right to receive 50% of the amount of the compensation they are due in case of termination of their employment contracts.
Employers are required to contribute 1% of pay – 0,925% to Work Compensation Fund and 0,075% to Guarantee Fund for Work Compensation.
The Work Compensation Fund may be activated to pay compensation for termination of the employment contract to which the employee is entitled in case of collective dismissal, termination of employment, inability, expiration of term contract, expiration of the employment contract temporary, death of employer, extinction of a legal person or definitive closure of an enterprise.
When the contract terminates at its term for a reason which is not attributable to the worker, a new person cannot be admitted to the same position before a period of time has elapsed which is equal to one third of the duration of the contract, including its renewals. The employer may only contract another worker for the same position in the following cases:
- The new absence of the worker replaced when the term employment contract has been signed for their replacement;
- Exceptional increase in the company's activity after the contract has terminated;
- Seasonal activities;
- The worker was contracted previously under the system for contracting workers seeking their first employment.
Suspension of the employment contract
The employment contract may be suspended or the normal work period reduced for the following reasons:
- The temporary, partial or total impossibility of carrying out the work due to facts attributable to the worker or the employer and with the agreement of both parties;
- The need to keep the company viable and to prevent jobs being lost during a business crisis;
- The signing of a pre-retirement agreement between the employer and the worker;
- In a situation of partial retirement under the terms of special legislation.
Yes. If market, structural or technological factors, catastrophes or other events have seriously affected the company's normal activity and mean that such measures are vital for assuring the continuing viability of the company and preventing job losses. Interruption of the contract may take the following forms:
- Interruption of the activity for one or more normal daily or weekly work periods, which may be rotated between different groups of workers;
- Reduction of the number of hours in the normal daily or weekly work period.
However, the employer must write to inform either the workers' committee or the company's inter-union commission or trade union committees representing the workers to be affected by their intention to reduce or suspend the work, giving details of the grounds and criteria, which have led to the suspension of the employment contract. If there is no formal worker representation, the employer should write to inform each of the workers concerned of their intention to reduce or suspend their work, and within five days of receiving the communication, the workers may appoint a representative committee of workers with a maximum of three or five members according to whether the measures affect up to or more than 20 workers.
During the time that the contract is reduced or suspended, the worker has the following rights:
- To receive a minimum monthly payment equal to two thirds of their normal gross wage or the minimum monthly guaranteed payment corresponding to their normal work period, whichever one is greater;
- To keep all social privileges and social security payments calculated on the basis of their normal wage;
- To undertake paid activities outside the company.
When the worker's monthly wage for normal working hours is less than the guaranteed minimum wage, the worker has the right to the latter.
In the case of illness, the worker whose contract has been suspended still has the right to be paid their wages, they cannot receive social security benefit and any that they may be receiving will be stopped.
Normal payment is considered to be the worker's basic wage, seniority bonus and all regular and periodic payments inherent to their work.
During the time that the contract is reduced or suspended, it is the employer's obligation to:
- To pay sick pay promptly;
- To make prompt social security contributions for the payments effectively received by the worker;
- Not to distribute profits in any form, particularly withdrawals on account;
- Not to increase the payment of the executive bodies, when social security is being paid to the workers with their sick pay;
- Not to contract new workers or renew contracts for positions which may be held by workers affected by the system of reduction or suspension.
Yes. Without prejudice to the provisions in special legislation or in collective agreements, the worker has the right to long periods of unpaid leave (not less than 60 days) to attend training courses held by an educational or vocational training institution, or within a specific programme specifically approved by a competent authority responsible for teaching, or courses in educational establishments.
Employers may refuse to grant leave to attend courses in the situations in the following circumstances:
- When the worker has been given adequate occupational training, or leave for the same purpose within the last 24 months;
- When the worker has worked for the company for less than three years;
- When the worker has failed to apply for leave at least 90 days before the course is to begin;
- In the case of a micro or small enterprise where it is not possible to substitute the worker adequately if necessary;
- In addition to the aforementioned situations in the previous sub-paragraphs, for workers at management level, executives permanent or qualified staff, when it is impossible to substitute them during their leave without causing serious damages to the activities of the company or service.
Wages are the payment that workers have the right to receive in exchange for the work they render in accordance with the terms of their contract.
This exchange for work rendered includes the basic wage and all regular or periodical payments made, directly or indirectly, either in cash or in kind.
Wages may be fixed, variable or mixed (mixed wages consisting of a mixture of fixed and variable parts).
Holidays, Bank holidays and Absences
Workers have the right to 22 days of paid holiday per calendar year, a right which lapse on 1st January.
As a rule, the worker has the right to holidays corresponding to the work done in the previous calendar year, but is not conditioned by the worker's assiduity or effectiveness.
- In the year that the contract is signed, the worker only has the right to 2 working days per month coming to total of no more than 20 working days if they have worked for 6 months. But if the worker has not completed six months or taken a holiday by the following year, they will have until 30th June of the following year.
However, no worker can take more than 30 working days holiday in the same year unless permitted by collective agreement.
Contracts of under six months:
- If the contract is for a period of under six months, the worker has the right to 2 working days holiday for each complete month of work;
- In contracts of under 6 months, holidays are taken immediately before the contract terminates, except where otherwise agreed by both the parties.
In theory the right to holidays cannot be renounced, but the worker can take 20 working days holiday, and give up the rest, and will receive the wages and subsidies corresponding to the total.
In theory, the worker cannot accumulate the holidays of various years. The holidays should be taken in the year that they are due. But if there is an agreement or if the worker wishes to spend their holidays with family members living abroad, the holidays may be taken during the 1st three months of the following year, if accumulated with the holidays of that year. In addition, by agreement between employer and worker, the worker may accumulate half of their holidays from the previous year with those of the following year.
The worker has the right to the same wages that they would have earned had they been effectively in service. In addition to their wages, the worker has the right to holiday pay equal to their monthly wage.
Holiday dates are fixed by agreement between employer and worker. If there is no agreement, the holiday period should be fixed by the employer for between 1st May and 31st October, except where the workers' committee or the provisions in the collective agreement state otherwise.
When holiday dates are fixed, if possible the most popular holiday periods should be apportioned to the workers alternately according to the holiday's taken in the previous two years. Spouses or partners who work in the same company or establishment should take their holidays at the same time as long as this does not cause serious damages for the employer.
The worker admitted with a contract of a total duration of less than six months has the right to two working days holiday for each completed month of the employment contract. In this case, their holidays should be taken immediately before the contract terminates, except where otherwise agreed by both parties.
There are two types of absences - justified or unjustified.
Justified absences are:
- For 15 consecutive days after marriage;
- For 5 consecutive days after the death of the spouse, mother, father, son or daughter, stepfather, stepmother, stepchild, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law and daughter-in-law, or the partner who lives with the worker;
- For 2 consecutive days after the death of grandparents, great-grandparents, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings and brothers and sisters-in-law;
- When attending classes or taking examinations in a teaching establishment;
- In the case of illness, accident or fulfilment of legal obligations;
- For up to 30 days a year, when there is a need for assistance which cannot be postponed and is vital, in the case of illnesses or accidents of children, adopted children or step children under the age of 10 or independently of their age if they are chronically disabled or ill;
- For up to 30 consecutive days after the birth of a baby to assist grandchildren who are the children of adolescents who live with the worker;
- For up to 4 hours for the person responsible for the minor's education to travel to the school once every three months;
- For workers elected to workers' representative structures to fulfill functions more than their credit in hours;
- For the electoral campaign of candidates for public positions during the campaigning period;
- When authorised or approved by the employer.
Five days' notice must be given of foreseeable absences. The employer must be notified of unforeseeable absences as soon as possible.
If other absences immediately follow those already reported, they must also be reported to the employer.
The employer can ask for proof during the 15 days after absences have been reported. Proof of illness must be provided by a hospital establishment, health center or doctor's note and can be verified by a doctor from the social security services at the employer's request. Proof of the death of the spouse, relation or similar is provided by a declaration from the funeral services. In the case of illness, if the social security services do not indicate the doctor within 24 hours, the employer will appoint a doctor with whom they have no contractual bond. If the medical reports are in contention, then the medical board may be asked to intervene. The presentation of a medical declaration for fraudulent purposes is a false medical declaration and would be just cause for dismissal.
Justified absences are not all paid by the employer. They will not pay for justified absences due to: illness if the worker is covered by the social security system; an accident in the workplace, if the worker is covered by insurance; or absences justified by laws outside the Labour Code which exceed 30 days per year and absences authorised or approved by the employer.
The employment contract is suspended in the case of illness, accident or the fulfilment of legal obligations (military service, civic service) which effectively or foreseeably exceed one month.
When time is taken off to take part in electoral campaigns, only one third of the justified absences will be paid and the worker may only take half or whole days off if they give the employer 48 hours' notice.
In addition to the loss of wages and time deducted from the worker's seniority, because unjustified absences mean that the worker has failed in their duty to attend work assiduously, they may also lead to disciplinary proceedings with a view to dismissal.
The worker is considered to have committed a serious infraction if they have been absent without justification for half or the whole of a work period immediately before or after a bank holiday or weekend.
If the worker arrives more than half an hour late, the employer may refuse to let them work for part of the day. If the worker arrives more than an hour late, the employer may refuse to let them work for the whole working day.
- 1st January;
- Good Friday;
- Easter Sunday;
- 25th April;
- 1st May;
- Corpus Christi;
- 10th June;
- 15th August;
- 5th October;
- 1st November;
- 1st December;
- 8th December;
- 25th December.
Duration of work
The normal work period may not exceed 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.
By law, the worker has the right to at least one day of rest per week, but may be given another half or full day of rest every week or on certain weeks of the year.
The daily work period should be interrupted by a break of no less than 1 hour and no more than 2 hours, in such a way that the worker does not work for more than 5 consecutive hours.The worker is also guaranteed a minimum rest period of 11 consecutive hours between two successive daily work periods.
Workers are exempted from normal working hours when they work in activities which are not subject to the normal limits for the daily and/or weekly duration of work. They may include the following types of work:
- Work not subject to the maximum limits of the normal work periods;
- The possible increase of working hours to a certain number per day or per week;
- Observance of the normal work periods agreed.
When the parties have not stipulated the type of exemption from normal working hours which has been adopted, it is considered to be the type which is not subject to the maximum limits of the normal work periods.
Overtime is all work undertaken outside normal working hours. In cases where there is exemption from normal working hours, but where they have been limited to a certain number of hours of work per day or per week, overtime is considered to be work done which exceeds the duration agreed.
Yes. But workers may ask to be allowed off overtime if sufficiently justified. Certain types of workers have the recognised right to exemption from overtime, and do not have to ask for exemption. This is the case of workers who are pregnant or have children under the age of one, workers who have taken paternity leave totally or partially substituting maternity leave, workers who are minors and workers who are chronically ill or disabled.
Overtime may only be done when the company must respond to possible, temporary increase in work which does not justify the admission of a new worker.
Overtime may also be done in cases of force majeure or when it is indispensable to prevent or compensate serious damages to the company or its viability.
Overtime done when the company has to respond to possible, temporary increases in work and the admission of a new worker is not justified should not exceed:
- A hundred and seventy-five hours of work per year, in the case of micro and small-sized companies;
- A hundred and fifty hours of work per year in the case of medium and large-sized companies;
- Two hours per normal working day;
- Several hours equal to the normal daily work period on the weekly days of rest, whether compulsory or complementary, and on bank holidays;
- Several hours equal to the normal half period of daily work on a half day of rest;
- The limits of overtime done by pharmacies are regulated separately by special legislation.
When overtime is done on a normal working day, the worker has the right to the following additions:
- 25% of their wage for the first hour;
- 37,5% of their wage for the subsequent hours or fraction of hours.
O trabalho suplementar prestado em dia de descanso semanal, obrigatório ou complementar, e em dia feriado confere ao trabalhador o direito a um acréscimo de 50% da retribuição, por cada hora de trabalho efetuado.
Poderão, no entanto, ser fixados montantes retributivos em Instrumento de Regulamentação Coletiva de Trabalho.
The Work Hours Bank is a mechanism provided in the Labor Code, which allows the worker to accumulate hours provided by overtime working, which can be compensated through the equivalent reduction of working time, increase in the period of vacations or payment in cash.
If a worker is not covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that allows for a change in the organization of working time, the work hours bank may be established by written agreement between the employer and the worker, and the normal period of work can be increased up to two hours per day and reach 50 hours per week, with a limit of 150 hours per year.
Shift work is any way of organising team work whereby workers occupy the same work positions successively at a certain rhythm, including rotation, which may or may not be continuous, which means that workers may work at different times during the course of a given period of days or weeks.
The duration of the work done in each shift may not exceed the maximum limits of normal work periods. The worker's shift may only be changed after the weekly day of rest.
Shift work is not paid at a special rate except where the applicable Collective Regulatory Instrument provides for a shift work subsidy.
The shift worker who works at night has the right to be paid special rates for the work done during that period unless they have been given a shift work subsidy, in which case the special rate does not have to be paid.
Night work is considered to be work for a minimum of seven hours and a maximum of eleven hours, including the hours between 12 midnight and 5am. Collective Regulatory Instruments may stipulate that night work be done within those time limits. When night work has not been regulated by a Collective Regulatory Instrument, it is considered to be the period between 10pm of one day and 7 am of the following day.
No. The employer is not allowed to transfer the worker to another job location except when required in the interest of the company, or where the change is the result of the total or partial move of the establishment in which the worker renders their services if this transfer does not cause serious damages to the worker. In these cases, the employer should calculate the cost of the transfer to the worker, which results from increased travelling expenses and the change of residence.
Serious damages are real and objective damages which have a decisive, negative influence on the life of the worker. Or rather, mere inconveniences or disturbances are not considered to be serious damages, but only facts which affect the life of the worker in a serious, important and harmful way. Damages are suffered when the transfer involves a significant increase in the time spent travelling to work or causes great upset to the family.
If the worker considers that the transfer causes serious damages to their life, they must present their reasons in writing to their employer.
Yes. The worker may rescind the contract if the transfer of the job location is the result of the total or partial move of the establishment where they render their services and if this change causes serious damages, and in this case the worker has the right to compensation to be fixed between 15 and 45 days of basic wages and seniority bonuses for each complete year of seniority.
Yes. The decision to transfer the job location has to be communicated to the worker, correctly explaining the reasons for the move in writing, 30 days in advance, in the case of the change resulting from a total or partial move of the establishment in which they work, or 8 days in advance if the move is temporary and is for a period not exceeding 6 months, except where the change is for unforeseeable reasons.
Protection of maternity and paternity
Yes. The pregnant worker may attend pre-natal appointments and pre-natal classes for the number hours and number of times which are necessary and justified, with no loss of wages or privileges for these absences.
Does the worker who is pregnant, has recently given birth or is breastfeeding have the right to special health and safety conditions in the workplace?
Yes. To avoid exposure to risks to their health and safety under the following terms:
- Without prejudice to other obligations foreseen in special legislation, in activities liable to involve specific exposure to agents, processes or working conditions, the employer should assess the nature, degree and duration of the exposure of the worker who is pregnant, has recently given birth or is breastfeeding, to determine any risk to their health and safety and the repercussions for the pregnancy or breastfeeding as well as the measures to be taken.
- Without prejudice to the right to information and consultation laid down in special legislation, the worker who is pregnant, has recently given birth or is breastfeeding has the right to be informed in writing of the results of the assessment, as well as the protective measures that should be taken. Whenever these results show risks to the health and safety of the worker who is pregnant, has recently given birth or is breastfeeding, or when the pregnancy or breastfeeding is affected, the employer should take the measures necessary to prevent the exposure of this worker to these risks, particularly:
- By adapting their working conditions;
- If the adaptation referred to in the previous sub-paragraph is impossible, takes too long or is too difficult, the worker who is pregnant, has recently given birth or is breastfeeding should be given other duties which are compatible with their condition and occupational category;
- If the measures referred to in the previous sub-paragraphs are not feasible, to allow the worker to stay off work for the time necessary to prevent their exposure to these risks.
- Workers who are pregnant, have recently given birth or are breastfeeding are forbidden to undertake all activities which the assessment has shown to present risks of exposure to agents and working conditions which endanger their health or safety.
- Activities which are liable to present a specific risk of exposure to agents, processes or working conditions, as well as the agents and working conditions referred to in the previous sub-paragraph are laid down in special legislation.
Yes. The worker is allowed off work between 8pm on one day and 7am the following day for:
- A period of 112 days before and after giving birth, of which half must be before the forecasted birth date;
- The remaining period of the pregnancy, if a doctor's note is presented stating that it is necessary for her health or the health of the baby to be born;
- For the whole breastfeeding period, if a doctor's note is presented stating that it is necessary for the mother's or the baby's health;
- The female worker who is allowed off night work, will be given compatible daytime working hours as soon as possible, but if this is not possible, the worker will be allowed off work altogether.
No. The worker does not have to do overtime. This situation also applies to fathers who have taken paternity leave.
The employment contract of workers who are pregnant, have recently given birth or are breastfeeding may only be terminated after an opinion has been issued by the competent authority responsible for equal opportunities between men and women, within the Ministry of Labour and Solidarity.
The working mother has the right to initial maternity leave of 120 consecutive days, and to be paid 100% of the reference wage. The remaining days may be taken, totally or partially, before or after the birth of the baby, but the mother has to take at least 6 weeks leave after the birth of the baby. Workers who have suffered a miscarriage are given leave of between 14 and 30 days, on presentation of a medical certificate.
In the case of multiple births, the period of leave is increased by 30 days for each sibling in addition to the first.
In cases where there is a risk to the health of the worker or the newborn which prevents the worker from fulfilling her duties and if she is guaranteed neither work duties nor a job location which are compatible with her condition, the worker has the right to leave from work before the birth on the orders of a doctor, for the time necessary to prevent any risk, without prejudice to the maternity leave of 120 days.
If the mother or the child is admitted to hospital during the period immediately following the birth, the period of maternity leave is suspended for the time spent in hospital, when requested by the mother.
The father has the right to exclusive paternity leave of 10 working days taken either consecutively or partially and paid at 100% of the reference wage, which must be used consecutively immediately during the 30 days after the birth of the son/daughter, and five of which must be used consecutively from immediately after the birth. After this leave has been used, the father still has the right to 10 working days, taken either totally or partially, and paid at 100% of the reference wage, if the days are taken at the same time as the initial maternity leave of the mother and the employer is advised 5 days in advance. In the case of multiple births, the leave foreseen in the previous paragraphs is supplemented by two days for each baby in addition to the first, paid at 100% of the reference wage.
The father also has the right to take time off on three occasions to attend pre-natal appointments.
The worker will not receive any wages from the employer during these periods, but will have the right to a social security subsidy.
If both parents work professionally, either one or both parents have the right to time off every day for bottle feeding, as decided by mutual agreement, until the child reaches one year of age, this time off to be used in two different periods for a maximum duration of one hour each, except in cases where a different system has been agreed with the employer, who should be advised 10 days in advance that they will be bottle feeding the child. In the case of multiple births, the time off is supplemented by 30 minutes for each baby in addition to the first. If either parent works part-time, the daily time off for bottle feeding is reduced in proportion to the respective normal work period, and may not be less than 30 minutes.
In the case of the adoption of children under the age of 15, the candidate for adoptive parent has the right to initial maternity/paternity leave from the time the minor is legally or administratively entrusted to them. In the case of multiple adoptions, the period of leave is supplemented by 30 days for each additional adoption. The daily subsidy for adoption is equal to the subsidy foreseen for initial maternity/paternity leave.
Does the worker have the right to be absent from work if their children are ill and are still minors?
Yes. The worker has the right to be absent from work for a maximum of 30 days per year, to provide urgent and vital assistance in the case of the illness or accident of biological children, adopted children or stepchildren under the age of 10. In these circumstances, the worker may ask for sick leave, and will receive 65% of their basic wage in sick benefit.
If a child under the age of 10 is admitted to hospital, the worker may take time off work until they are discharged, but the mother and father or others with the same status may not both take time off work at the same time. Workers who have been made guardians or to whom the care of the child has been entrusted by legal or administrative decision are regulated by the same provision.
Yes. All workers have the right to equal opportunities and treatment for access to jobs, occupational training and promotion and working conditions.
No worker or candidate for a job can be privileged, benefited, prejudiced, deprived of any right or exempt from any duty due to their ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, family situation, genetic heritage, reduced working capacity, disablement, chronic illness, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, political or ideological convictions or trade union affiliation. Advertisements for jobs and other forms of advertising connected to pre-selection and recruitment may not contain any direct or indirect restriction, specification or preference based on gender.
Yes. But differences in wages are not discriminatory if they are based on objective criteria common to men and women, and where differences are acceptable due to the productivity, assiduity or seniority of the workers. The system used to describe duties and assess functions should be based on objective criteria common to both men and women in such a way as to exclude any discrimination based on gender.
Yes. The employer must pay the worker compensation and pay fines, which vary according to the size of the company if it is proved that the worker's right to equality and non-discrimination has been violated. The official body with the competence to help the worker in these matters is the ACT.
Accidents at work and occupational illness
An accident at work is an accident which takes place in the workplace during working hours and directly or indirectly causes physical injury, functional impairment or illness which reduces the worker's earning capacity or leads to their death.
Workers employed by others in any capacity, if for personal gain, and their families have the right to compensation for damages resulting from accidents at work.
The right to compensation includes the following payments:
- In kind - medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, hospital and other services of any type, if they are necessary and appropriate for the recovery of the victim's health and working and earning capacity, to enable them to return to an active working life;
- In cash - compensation for complete or partial temporary incapacity for work; compensation in capital or a pension for life corresponding to the reduced working or earning capacity in the case of permanent disablement; compensation due to the family of the victim; subsidy for situations of severe permanent disablement; subsidy for the conversion of the victim's home; subsidy for death and funeral expenses.
The employer does not have to pay compensation for damages caused by accidents which:
- Are caused maliciously by the victim or which are caused by any act or omission by them which violates the safety conditions established by the employer or laid down in law;
- Are caused exclusively by the gross negligence of the victim;
- Are caused by the victim's permanent or accidental loss of reason, pursuant to the Civil Code, except where the loss is derived from the actual work undertaken, is out of the victim's control or if the employer or their representative knows about their condition but still agrees to let them work;
- Are caused by a situation of force majeure.
An event is only caused by force majeure if it is due to an unavoidable force of nature, independently of human intervention, and is not a risk created by working conditions or caused while carrying out work expressly ordered by the employer in obviously dangerous conditions.
The foreign worker working in Portugal in the service of a Portuguese company has the same rights as a Portuguese worker.
But foreign workers who are victims of accidents at work in Portugal in the service of a foreign company, their agency, branch, representative or associated company may be excluded from this system if their work is temporary or intermittent and if there has been an agreement between the Member States to apply legislation in force in the State of origin to protect victims of accidents at work.
The Portuguese and the foreign worker resident in Portugal who are victims of accidents at work abroad while working for a Portuguese company have the same rights as Portuguese workers who work in Portugal, except when the legislation of the State where the accident takes place recognises their right to compensation, in which case workers may choose between the systems.
An occupational illness is an illness which is included in the List of Occupational Illnesses, and which affects a worker who has been exposed to the risk by the nature of their activity or the conditions, environment and techniques of their habitual work.
Additionally, for the purposes of compensation, this category includes personal injury, functional impairment or illnesses not included in the list, if they prove to be the necessary and direct consequence of the activity undertaken and are not a result of normal wear and tear to the organism.
A worker employed by others in any activity if pursued for personal gain, and their families, has the right to compensation for occupational illnesses.
The right to compensation for occupational illnesses included in the List of Occupational Illnesses assumes that the following cumulative conditions have been fulfilled:
- The worker is affected by the corresponding occupational illness;
- The worker has been exposed to the respective risk by the nature of the industry, activity or conditions, environment and techniques of their usual work.
A doctor's note, or rather, a certificate of temporary incapacity through illness (CTI), is written out by the doctor in a special form, issued by National Health Service, in hospitals, health centers or drug treatment clinics. It should be submitted to the social security services within five working days of the date it is issued.
Their incapacity (illness) must be certified by the doctor at the competent services. The worker must have worked for six consecutive or non-consecutive months, with contributions paid into the social security system. During the four months preceding the illness they must have worked effectively for at least 20 days. During this time, they may have received other benefits like maternity benefit, but may only begin to receive sick benefit at least 60 days after the sick note expired. Self-employed workers will only receive sick benefit if they are covered by the extended system and if their social security contributions have been paid up until the third month immediately preceding the beginning of the illness.
The doctor's note is registered and the social security services will issue an official letter, which will be submitted to the worker, stating the amount of benefit to be paid and information about dependents under their charge, taking into account:
|% of wages paid||Duration of the illness|
|60%||Up to 30 days|
|65%||Between 31 and 90 days|
|70%||Between 91 and 365 days|
|75%||Over 365 days|
In the case of tuberculosis, 80% of the worker's wage is paid if they have two dependents and 100% if they have three or more dependents.
This benefit is increased by 5% if the beneficiary:
- Has three or more children under the age of 16 (or 24 if they are still studying and receive a family allowance);
- Has one or more children receiving disability benefit;
- Has a daily wage of under 500 € when multiplied by 30 days.
No. If the worker is employed by others, it is only paid from the 4th day of incapacity. Self-employed workers are only paid from the 31st day. In the case of tuberculosis, admission to hospital or an illness which exceeds the period for which maternity benefit is received, it is paid from the 1st day.
If the doctor gives me a doctor's note for 100 days, do I immediately begin to receive 70% of my wage?
No. The first period of sick leave never exceeds 12 days. The certificate is renewed every 30 days from then on. 65% of the reference wage is paid up to the 90th day and it is only from the 91st day that 70% of this amount will be received. The percentage of sick benefit increases the longer the worker is off sick.
Working student system
Working students are people who undertake activities under the authority and supervision of another and who are receiving an education at any level, including post-graduate courses at educational establishments.
Also covered by the provisions in the working student statutes are students who are in one of the following situations:
- Are self-employed workers;
- Are attending occupational training courses or temporary youth employment schemes, if they last for six months or longer.
Persons subsequently made redundant do not lose the status of working student.
Yes. Working students should have specific working hours, which are flexible enough to adjust to their classes and to the time spent travelling to the educational establishment.
When it is not possible to apply the system laid down in the previous paragraph, the working student is given time off to attend their classes under the terms laid down in special legislation.
To obtain this status, the working student must:
- Present proof of their student status, present their timetable and prove that they have passed their examinations at the end of each school year;
- Prove to the educational establishment that they are working.
Yes. Companies should draw up specific working hours for working students, which are flexible enough to adjust to their class attendance and to the time spent travelling to the respective educational establishments involved. If this is not possible, the working student should be given up to six hours off per week without any loss of wages or other benefits.
The system chosen will be agreed between the employer, the workers concerned and the representative structures (e.g. trade unions) to conciliate the rights of working students with the normal functioning of companies or services.
Time off to attend classes may be used once only or in fractions and depends on the hours worked per week as follows:
- Between twenty and twenty-nine hours worked - up to three hours off;
- Between thirty and thirty-three hours worked - up to four hours off;
- Between thirty-four and thirty-seven hours worked - up to five hours off;
- Thirty-eight hours or more worked - up to six hours off;
- The normal work period of a working student may not exceed eight hours per day and forty hours per week, including overtime, except in cases of force majeure.
If both parties agree, they can choose the flexible system laid down in general law, which allows the working student the right to one day off work per month without the loss of wages.
The working student who does shift work has the same rights, if the adjustment of the work periods is not totally incompatible with the functioning of the system.
If it not possible to adjust their working hours, the worker has the right to preference for jobs which are compatible with their occupational skills and with the possibility attending the classes they are proposing.
Does the working student have the right to time off for tests and assessments, without losing wages or any other benefits?
Yes. Pursuant to the following terms:
- Up to two days for each test or assessment, one being for taking the test or assessment itself and the other the day immediately before, including Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays;
- When tests or assessments take place on consecutive days or when there is more than one test or assessment on the same day, the days before will be equal to the number of tests or assessments to be done, including Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays;
- The days of absence may not exceed a maximum of four days per subject.
Tests or assessments are all written and oral tests as well as the presentation of work when it substitutes them.
Yes. Working students have the right to organise their holidays according to their educational needs, except where this is not compatible with the employer's holiday plan.
Working students have the right to 15 separate days of holidays, which they may choose freely, except where they are incompatible because the establishment or service closes for the holidays at the same time.
Each calendar year, working students may use 10 consecutive or separate working days of leave which are deducted from their wages, but will not lose any other privileges if they submit their request as follows:
- Forty-eight hours in advance for one day's leave;
- Eight days in advance for two to five days leave;
- One month in advance for over five days leave.
Yes. Working students are not subject to any rules which stipulate a minimum number of subjects they must attend for a certain course, at the level of education where this is possible, or to rules which are prescriptive or which involve a change of establishment.
Working students are not subject to legal provisions which make academic success dependent on taking a minimum number of classes per subject. Working students are not subject to rules which limit the number of examinations to be taken during the re-sit period.
Working students have a special examination period for all courses and each academic year. Examinations, tests and assessments, and minimum support services for working students should be outside working hours.
Working students have the right to attend classes to compensate the classes they have missed whenever the teachers consider them vital for assessment and learning processes due to the nature of the subject.
The privileges laid down in the legislation on Working Hours, Holidays and Leave end when working students fail to pass the academic year for which they are receiving the same privileges. All other privileges end when working students fail two successive years or three separate years.
Working students are considered to have passed the year when they go through to the following academic year or have passed at least half of the subjects enrolled for, this number being rounded down when necessary, and any subject is considered to have been failed when it has been given up voluntarily, except when justified by facts not attributable to the student, particularly in cases of prolonged illness, accident, pregnancy or the fulfilment of legal obligations.
Working students may apply again for this status the year after their loss of privileges.
Temporary work is a triangular work relationship in which the employer's contractual position is maintained with the worker, who they contract, pay and exercise disciplinary authority over, and the Temporary Employment Company, the company which, in its turn, receives the work from the worker, who is not a member of its staff but over whom it exercises management and supervisory authority.
It is an alternative way of contracting workers for companies which need manpower to complement the work of their employees, when there are exceptional work situations or to satisfy the temporary need to substitute a permanent member of staff due to holidays, maternity leave, sick leave etc. Temporary work may be used to respond to an unusual increase of work such as peaks of sales or production, seasonal tasks, the launching of products, promotional campaigns, etc.
It is a fixed term contract signed by a temporary employment company and a worker, which binds the latter to undertake paid work temporarily for third parties in their area of activity, the company lending their temporary work to the service user, while maintaining the legal-labour connection to the temporary employment company.
Yes. The legal system for temporary work is laid down in Law no.07/2009, of 12 May, which approves a new legal regime of temporary work.
Yes. TEC activities must be authorised, and a numbered licence issued and publicly registered. The TEC which are authorized to operate are published in the 1st Series of the Boletim de Trabalho e Emprego (the Work and Employment Bulletim), as are those which have been sanctioned with the suspension of their operating authorisation and the temporary prohibition of the same.
A contract for the use of temporary work is permitted in the following situations:
- Substitution of worker, until return of absent worker returns;
- Occupation of a post during a 6 month, while a recruitment process is in progress;
- Temporary and exceptional increase of activity, up to 12 months;
- Precisely defined and non-durable projects or tasks, up to the termination of the justification, having a limit of 2 years;
- Seasonal or other activity whose annual production cycle presents irregularities due to the structural nature of the respective market, including the supply of raw materials up to the termination of the justification, having a limit of 2 years;
- Intermittent need for manpower determined by fluctuations of activity termination of the justifying cause, having the limit of 2 years;
- Intermittent need for the worker to directly support their family until the cause justifying the use of a temporary worker ends;
- Carrying out projects of limited duration, until the termination of the justification, having a limit of 2 years.
Yes. Within legal time limits, if the Users are satisfied with their work or Client companies appear with needs corresponding to their profile.
Temporary workers must be paid:
- The proportion of hours effectively worked towards the monthly wage stipulated;
- Holiday pay, Christmas and holidays not taken, in proportion to the number of days of work done;
- The daily meal allowance stipulated by the company where the worker is placed;
- Other privileges possibly connected to the post occupied, (travel card, perks, shift subsidy,...);
- Possible compensation for the termination of the contract, in proportion to the time of the placement, if it exceeds one month;
- Social security contributions calculated from these figures (11%), as well as tax at source, at their respective level.
Yes. Overtime more than the working hours stipulated is paid with the additions laid down by General Labour Law or by the collective agreements in force in the user company.
In the event of termination of Term Contract or Temporary Work, at the initiative of the employer, the employee is entitled to compensation corresponding to 18 days of basic remuneration and salary for each full year of seniority, for the first three years of contract. In the following years, the employee shall be compensated in the proportion corresponding to 12 days of basic remuneration and salary for each full year of seniority.
In the event of expiry of the worker's retirement, he is not entitled to any compensation.