Doing business in Portugal: Staff welfare

01 May 2012

by Ina Dimireva
— last modified 01 May 2012

The Portuguese Labour Code defines the workplace rules applicable to the employees of a business.

Legal requirements

Labour Code

Social rules

Non-discrimination, equal treatment and gender equality

Men and women must be treated equally at work in accordance with the policy of the Commission for Equality in Work and Employment (CITE). The websites of the CITE and of the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG) and the Equality Gateway contain information on maternity and paternity rights.

Commission for Equality in Work and Employment

Parental protection

Leaflet on parental protection

Equality and non-discrimination

Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality

Equality Gateway

IV National Plan on Equality, Gender, Citizenship and Non-Discrimination (2011-2013)

Occupational health and safety

The Working Conditions Authority (ACT) is responsible for promoting improved working conditions by ensuring compliance with labour regulations, in the context of private labour relations, and for promoting occupational risk prevention policies.

National Strategy for Occupational Health and Safety 2008-2012

Accidents at work and occupational diseases – Frequently Asked Questions

Labour law

Contract legislation

The website of the Working Conditions Authority contains questions and answers on various aspects of employment contracts.

Signing employment contracts – Frequently Asked Questions

Dismissal – Frequently Asked Questions

Labour relations

The Directorate-General for Employment and Labour Relations (DGERT) is responsible for helping to develop policies on employment and vocational training and on labour relations, including working conditions and health, safety and welfare at work. It is also responsible for monitoring and encouraging collective bargaining and the prevention of trade disputes, and for promoting the accreditation of training bodies.

Guaranteed minimum monthly wage for 2011

Working conditions and relations

Labour protection

The vocational training of workers is recognised as a right and as an asset for business. Legislation requires 10% of employees with permanent contracts to receive at least 35hours of certified training per year.

Compulsory notifications and authorisations – Labour relations and occupational health and safety

Accidents at work and occupational diseases – Frequently Asked Questions

Sickness protection

Disability protection


The Portuguese Labour Mediation Service (SML) has the authority to mediate in disputes concerning individual employment contracts, except for those matters relating to unavailable rights. Such disputes can involve:

  • payment of amounts due on the termination of employment contracts;
  • promotions;
  • change of workplace;
  • termination of employment contracts;
  • holiday scheduling;
  • disciplinary procedure;
  • legal status of employment contracts.

The employer and employee can, voluntarily and through a joint decision, refer the dispute to mediation. Using the SML costs each party EUR50, regardless of the number of mediation sessions.

Labour Mediation Service

Strikes – Frequently Asked Questions

Absences – Frequently Asked Questions

Mandatory social rules complete the requirements related to managing staff.

Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum social legal requirements at their own initiative.

Administrative procedures

Non-discrimination, equal treatment and gender equality

The Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG) is responsible for ensuring the implementation of public policies in the area of citizenship, and promotion and defence of gender equality.

The tasks of the CIG include: assistance with the preparation and implementation of general and sectoral policy on the promotion of citizenship and gender equality; promotion of citizenship education and actions to raise awareness among public opinion and to ensure the adoption of good practices on gender equality; and development of a legal service providing information and legal and psychosocial support, and guaranteeing access to justice, particularly in situations of gender discrimination and violence.

Conciliation Gateway

Social security

As employers, businesses must register with the social security authorities when the business is set up. Businesses must also register each employee by the end of the month after the one in which they start work.

Social security registration for employees

Social security contributions

Social Security Direct

The information to be provided to the Working Conditions Authority (ACT) is indicated in the following two documents:

Compulsory notifications and authorisations – Labour relations

Compulsory notifications and authorisations – Occupational health and safety

Whenever a serious or fatal accident occurs at work, the employer must inform the ACT within 24 hours of the event.

The injured person must undergo treatment and comply with the clinical and surgical recommendations of the doctor appointed by the business, which are necessary to treat the injury or illness and regain the capacity to work.

Accidents at work and occupational diseases – Frequently Asked Questions


The Working Conditions Authority can provide information and publications on the various types of accident at work and occupational disease.

ACT Resource Centre

ACT Information Centre – Access to articles

The website of the Directorate-General for Employment and Labour Relations (DGERT) has afacility for searching for accredited training bodies.

Accredited training body search

Some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be viewed on the ACT website. These cover accidents at work and occupational diseases, employment contracts, dismissal, Comprehensive Reports and parental protection, among other issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Source: Your Europe

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