Portugal: New law to entrench rights of remote workers

Portugal: New law to entrench rights of remote workers

A new law in Portugal will prevent companies from contacting employees outside of working hours.

Due to come into force soon, the law will protect the rights of remote workers and safeguard their family lives.

Ana Mendes Godinho, the country’s labour minister, told Lisbon’s Web Summit this month: “Remote working has great advantages provided we control the disadvantages.”

The law was one of the last to be approved by Portugal’s minority socialist government, with the help of the anti-capitalist Left Bloc, before a crisis triggered an election two years early.

Firms will also be prohibited from monitoring home workers and, while workers can refuse to work from home without giving an explanation, companies must justify a refusal to permit an employee who wishes to work remotely.

Furthermore, parents or carers looking after children up to the age of eight will have the right to work from home without seeking the agreement of their employer, so long as their job is compatible with remote working.

The law also prohibits discrimination between remote and non-remote workers as far as holidays, careers, training and other matters are concerned.

The rules are also intended to make Portugal more attractive to so-called digital nomads.

“People can both live in Portugal and work for the best companies in the world,” said Ms Mendes Godinho.

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