TFRA Flash | Changes to the Employmet code

On the 1st of October 2019 Law number 93/2019 of the 4th of September becomes effective, providing for further amendments to the Employment Code (approved by Law number 07/2009 of the 12th of February).

  • The binding nature of the contract: As a rule, the fixed term employment contract rules may not be supplanted by a Collective Employment Regulation Instrument (Instrumento de Regulamentação Coletiva do Trabalho – IRCT)
  • Application over time: This new Law is not applicable to fixed term employment contracts with regard to their admissibility, renewal and duration where entered into prior to the 01/10/2019

Note: The Contributions Regulations Code (Código dos Regimes Contributivos – Law number 110/2009 of the 16th of September) provides for an additional contribution for excessive rotation applicable to employing entities that in the same calendar year have an annual fixed term employment weighting greater than the current applicable sectoral indicator. To this end, a Decree will be published annually (in the first quarter of the calendar year in question) that includes the annual sectoral indicator. The amount of the contribution is progressively applied on the basis of the difference between the annual weighting for fixed term contracting and the sectoral average up to the maximum of 2%, the scale being set by a regulatory decree.

Fixed Term Employment Contract

  • Admissibility: The entering into of fixed term employment contracts ceases to be possible on the basis of the contracting of an employee seeking their first job or long-term unemployed, being open only to the fixed term contracting of very long-term unemployed (or those that have been unemployed for more than 25 months and are aged over 45); Other limitations were set that now provide for fixed term employment in case of a new business of uncertain duration as well as the start up of a business or of an establishment belonging to a Company with fewer than 250 (two hundred and fifty) employees in the 2 (two) years subsequent to said event (the law makes clear that the contract on this basis may not exceed the 2 years subsequent to the beginning of the reason justifying the same;
  • Renewal and Duration: Independently of the reason justifying the entering into of the contract, the maximum duration is 2 (two) years, including renewals up to a maximum of 3 (three). This law also provides for a further limitation on the matter of renewals, establishing that the total duration of the renewals should not be greater than the duration of the initial period for the fixed term employment contract.

Variable Term Employment Contract

  • Duration: May not exceed 4 (four) years

Very Short Term Employment Contract

  • Admissibility: Covering all sectors of business to meet the exceptional and substantial increase in the activity of the business with an annual cycle that is variable due to the respective market or of a structural nature that is unable to be met by the permanent structure. The duration of said contracts is increased to 35 (thirty five) days.

Occasional Employment Contract

  • Duration: May not be greater than 5 (five) months working full time per annum of which at least 3 (three) months should be consecutive.
  • Compensation: During the period of inactivity, the employee has the right to compensation with a frequency equal to that of the payment in a sum established by a collective employment regulation instrument, or in the absence of which, 20% of basic pay. Should the employee carry on another activity during the period of inactivity, the corresponding sum paid is deducted from said payment.

Temporary or Fixed Term Employment Contract

  • Renewals: Limit of 6 (six), excepting however the cases of contracts entered into for the replacement of an absent employee when this absence is not attributable to the employer in such cases as illness, accidents, parental leave and other, analogous situations.
  • Application over time: The new Law is not applicable to the renewal of temporary employment contracts entered into prior to the 01/10/2019.

Trial Period

  • Qualifying Period: Reference is herewith made to professional internships, the time for which affects the legally permitted period wherein the trial period is reduced or discounted in accordance with the duration of the prior professional internship for the same activity having been less, equal to or greater than the duration of the same providing that this is with the same employer.
  • Limit on Permanent Employment Contracts: workers seeking their first job and the long term unemployed are covered by a trial period of 180 (one hundred and eighty) days.

Professional Training

  • The number of training hours is extended with employees having the right to a minimum of 40 (forty) hours of ongoing training annually, being contracted for a fixed period equal to or greater than 3 (three) months at a minimum number of hours proportional to the duration of the contract in that year.

Individual bank of time

  • The figure for the individual bank of time is revoked, existing individual banks of time being allowed to continue for the period of a year following the introduction of the new Law (or up to the 30/09/2020). There is also the possibility of a group bank of time being instituted and applied (without being provided for in the IRCT) to a group of employees forming a team, section or economic unit providing that it is approved by a poll with 65% of the employees covered. Said system is subject to the observance of a series of legally prescribed formalities and may not have a duration greater than 4 (four) years in each case.

Employees suffering from cancer

  • The establishment of measures for the protection of workers with cancerrelated illness by means of the guaranteeing of the same opportunities as other workers in access to employment, to training, to promotion or professional careers, to conditions of employment and to vocational rehabilitation. At the treatment stage, the worker is released from certain forms of organisation of working hours where this is prejudicial to their health or safety.

Employer´s Duties

  • Protection of the employee from bullying is reinforced, bullying constituting a reason for the legitimate termination of the employment contract.

Disappearance of the post

  • The time periods for consultations in cases of redundancy are extended.

The option to request the Constitutional Court to monitor the law remains open

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