Portugal Law Forbids Contacting Employees After Work Hours

In Portugal, Employers Can Be Fined for Contacting Employees After Work Hours

Remote workers in Portugal can say goodbye to non-stop texts and email notifications after their shift.

Following a law passed by the Portuguese parliament on Friday, 12 Nov 2021, employers in Portugal are now banned from contacting their employees via phone call, text message, or email outside of their regular work hours — unless it is an emergency. 

Under the new law, companies are also responsible for making sure that remote workers have the tools they need to work efficiently. This includes reimbursing their employees for possible increases in work-related expenses, including electricity and internet bills at home. 

Companies that have more than 10 employees will be liable for fines if they refuse to comply with the new measures and contact their staff during non-business hours. 

How Portugal protects work-life balance for remote workers

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The law was drafted by Portugal’s government to prevent employers from overstepping boundaries and promote work-life balance for workers during the pandemic. But that’s not all it accomplishes. 

Aside from protecting employees’ free time and requiring companies to cover a portion of their work-from-home expenses, the law also protects the parents of young children. In Portugal, parents are allowed to work remotely without requesting prior approval from their bosses, provided their children are under eight years of age. 

Since remote work can often lead to loneliness or extreme isolation, Portugal requires employees to meet face-to-face with their supervisors and colleagues in the workplace at least once every two months. That sounds like a healthy balance, right? 

In Portugal, Employers Can Be Fined for Contacting Employees After Work Hours

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Not all proposals favouring remote workers were approved by Portugal’s parliament, however. The “right to disconnect,” which would have permitted employees to turn off their work devices after office hours, was voted down by lawmakers, according to The Associated Press

Also read: 18 Career Paths That Will Open You Up to Travel Opportunities

Portugal is hoping the new labour laws will entice digital nomads to work in the country 

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Domestic workers in Portugal aren’t the only ones who seek to benefit from the recent measures to encourage work-life balance. The increased protections for remote workers also make Portugal an enticing destination for digital nomads, thanks to a Temporary Stay Visa that allows them to work in the country. 

Also read: 9 Easiest Countries to Immigrate to For Better Opportunities

Together with the four-day work weeks tested in Iceland and Spain, more countries in Europe are embracing work-life balance to foster productivity and happiness at the workplace. These new rules are a step in the right direction for the future of work, that’s for certain. 

Featured image credit: Claudio Schwarz | Unsplash 

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany wrote articles on travel, food, and pop culture for TripZilla. As she plans her next adventure, she enjoys writing about the coolest places to stay around the world and where to find them.