Portugal has employment laws that are favorable to workers, much like many other countries in Europe. These laws differ by country, but many aspects of the laws in Portugal are similar to the labor laws in other countries, such as the requirement for employers to offer leave to employees.
Employees in Portugal are entitled to the various forms of leave mandated by national employment laws. This means that employees working at any company in Portugal can take leave from their work in certain situations and on certain days. Workers are allowed to take a certain number of days off per year for annual vacations and various other reasons.
There are 13 public holidays in Portugal on which employees may take paid leave and on which they must not be forced to work, as well as holidays that may be observed at the municipal level. There are situations where employees may take extended leaves of absence for medical treatment such as sick days and leave for maternity. There are also leave entitlements for reasons such as adoption leave, parental leave, care leave, bereavement leave, and marriage leave.
This article will go into detail about the various forms of leave to which all employees in the nation of Portugal are entitled, based on Portuguese labor laws and regulations.
Employees in Portugal who have worked for a company for a full year can take 22 working days of leave per calendar year. Annual leave for the previous year expires on January 1 of the new year. New employees accrue two working days of leave per month up to 20 working days of leave for their first year. Holidays are taken during the year of accrual but no later than April 30 of the following year. Vacations may be taken in parts as long as each part is at least 10 consecutive days. Collective agreements may require more days of leave.
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Public Holidays in Portugal
There are 13 national holidays in Portugal. On these mandatory holidays, employees must observe the holiday or be given compensatory time off equal to 150% of the hours worked within the following three days. For example, if the employee works eight hours on a holiday, they must be given 12 hours of compensatory rest within the next three days. If an employee works on a public holiday, they also must be paid the equivalent of 150% of the usual compensation for the work they performed on the holiday.
Holidays that fall on rest days may be observed on the following Monday. Collective agreements may stipulate additional municipal holidays such as the Tuesday of Carnival.
National Holidays in Portugal
Sick Leave in Portugal
Employees in Portugal may take leave when they are injured or ill for a maximum of 30 days per year. Employees who are employed consecutively or partially for at least six months are entitled to 1,095 days of paid sick leave. Pay for sick leave, which is paid by social security, starts on the fourth day of incapacity.
Vacation time does not count during periods of illness. If an employee becomes ill and had leave planned, the annual leave does not start until after the employee is well.
Parental Leave in Portugal
Parental leave in Portugal consists of four types of leave: initial parental leave, exclusive initial parental leave of the mother, initial parental leave of the father if the mother cannot take the leave, and exclusive parental leave of the father.
Initial parental leave for both mother and father following the birth of their child, which can be taken simultaneously, is 120 or 150 consecutive days. Parental leave can be increased by 30 days for each additional child in the case of multiple births. If the child is hospitalized, the leave can be increased additionally to a maximum of 30 additional days.
The exclusive initial parental leave of the mother is the 30 days of optional leave before childbirth in addition to maternity leave. The initial parental leave of one parent if the other is unavailable to take the leave is 30 days of unpaid leave that a parent can take if the other parent dies or is physically or mentally incapacitated. Exclusive parental leave of the father is known as paternity leave.
Maternity Leave in Portugal
Expecting mothers in Portugal can take maternity leave. Before childbirth, the mother must provide the employer with a medical certificate, may take off work for prenatal consultations up to three times, and can take an optional 30 days of parental leave prenatally. A mandatory period of maternity leave must be taken by the mother for six weeks following childbirth.
In the case of a terminated pregnancy, employees may take between 14 and 30 days of unpaid leave.
Paternity Leave in Portugal
Paternity leave for fathers in Portugal is mandatory during the six weeks following childbirth. Parental leave for fathers is 20 working days, which can be taken consecutively or divided. If the mother takes initial parental leave before childbirth, fathers may take five days of parental leave, which can be taken consecutive or divided, along with the mother while she takes prenatal initial parental leave. Two additional days of paternity leave can be taken for each additional child born.
Special Leave in Portugal
There are numerous other situations in which employees in Portugal are entitled to leave:
When employees adopt a child under the age of 15, they can take 120 or 150 consecutive days of leave following the adoption. Adoption leave may be increased by 30 days for each additionally adopted child. This type of leave may be shared by both adopted parents.
There are several situations in which employees may take leave to care for family members and children.
Leave To Take Care of a Sick Child
Parents can take unpaid leave of six months to a maximum of six years to take care of children with disabilities, chronic illness, or cancer. Parents of children under the age of one with chronic illness or disabilities can have their workweek reduced by five hours.
Employees can take up to 30 days of unpaid leave to assist a child under the age 12 or a child of any age with a chronic illness or disability. Care leave is 15 days for children over the age of 12. Unpaid childcare leave can last up to two years for up to two children and three years for more children.
Leave for Assisting a Grandson
Employees may take up to 30 consecutive days of unpaid leave following the birth of a grandson who lives with them and is the son of a teenager under age 16. Employees may also take leave to provide essential support to an injured or ill grandchild in substitution of the parents.
Family Care Leave
An employee may take 15 days of unpaid leave per year to provide essential assistance to a family member, such as a spouse or partner or a relative living with the employee, in the event of an illness or accident.
Employees are entitled to 20 consecutive days of leave following the death of their child, five days following the death of a spouse or parent, or two days following the death of a grandparent, grandchild, sibling, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, or adopted child.
When employees get married, they may take 15 consecutive days of marriage leave.
A student employee may take periods of unpaid leave in the event of an exam up to four days per subject per year. Education leave can be taken the day before a test and the day of the test. If there are multiple tests on one day or two or more tests on consecutive days, the education leave days that can be taken before the exams are equal to the total number of exams.
Hire Employees in Portugal
When developing a leave policy in Portugal, it is important to include all of the mandatory leave entitlements. Employers may go above and beyond the minimum statutory requirements for leave if they want to attract and retain top talent.
Companies that are expanding globally can easily hire remote employees for full-time positions in Portugal or any of over 160 countries across the globe. Recruiting and hiring remote teams can be easy with the help of an employer of record such as Skuad.
The employer of record will then take care of human resources tasks such as:
- Hiring new employees and drafting their legally compliant employment contracts
- Onboarding your new hires and making sure their paperwork is complete.
- Processing payroll and taking care of payroll taxes
- Ensuring continued local compliance, even when laws are subject to change
For the ease of hiring remote employees and for seamless payroll processing, labor law compliance, and tax compliance, choose Skuad as your international Employer of Record. Contact us for a demo today.