Littler Global Guide - Portugal - Q3 2022

Browse through brief employment and labor law updates from around the globe. Contact a Littler attorney for more information or view our global locations.

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Government Revokes a Number of COVID-19 Measures

New Order or Decree

Authors: David Carvalho Martins, Partner and Head of Employment, and Tiago Sequeira Mousinho – DCM | Littler

During the third quarter of the year, the Portuguese Government has revoked a number of COVID-19 measures. Specifically, on June 30, 2022, Decree-Law no. 42-A/2022 revoked the obligation to present digital certificates or any negative tests for COVID-19 as a requirement to enter Portuguese territory by plane. On August 26, 2022, Decree-Law no. 57-A/2022 abolished the obligation of mask use in public transport, including flights, taxis, and mobility applications, as well as in pharmacies. On the other hand, it is still mandatory to wear them in health establishments and services, and nursing homes.

Additionally, on September 29, 2022, the Council of Ministers voted against extending the COVID-19 declaration of alert. Accordingly, effective October 1, persons with COVID-19 are not required to isolate nor notify the National Health Service about the infection, and the COVID-19 tests are no longer prescribed via the Portuguese National Health Services (SNS). Further, the temporary incapacity to work due to COVID-19 ceases; such cases will be treated under the ordinary disease regime.

New Visa for Job Seekers to Promote Hiring of Foreigners

New Order or Decree

Authors: David Carvalho Martins, Partner and Head of Employment, and Tiago Sequeira Mousinho – DCM | Littler

With the enactment of Law 18/2022, published in the Portuguese Official Gazette on August 25, 2022, the “Foreigners Law” (Lei dos Estrangeiros), Law 7/2007, was amended to create a temporary stay and residence visa for digital nomads; eliminate quotas for visa for subordinate professional activity; and create a new visa for job seekers. It has been noted that, with this new law, the Government seeks to promote safe and orderly immigration and tackle the labor shortage, by promoting international employment contracts and hiring of foreigners.

The new visa for job seekers is available to third country nationals (non-EU citizens), provided the requirements for the visa are met. This visa, which can last 120 days, may be extended for another 60 days, and is limited to the national territory. Within 120 days after the visa is granted, the visa holder will be automatically scheduled to appear before the competent authorities for an application for a residence permit after the formalization of the employment relationship.

A New Path for Fixed-Term Employment Contracts for Public Administration?

Precedential Decision by Judiciary or Regulatory Agency

Authors: David Carvalho Martins, Partner and Head of Employment – DCM | Littler

The Supreme Administrative Court (STA) recently published a landmark decision (i.e., Cláudio Ramos Monteiro), marking an important page in Public Administration labor law. In this decision, the STA deviated from its past rulings where it had taken a clear position on the nonconvertibility of fixed-term employment contracts in and for the Public Administration.

In the new decision, the STA recognized the possibility of converting fixed-term employment contracts in a situation of abuse arising from the successive fixed-term employment contracts, exceeding the time limits and maximum number of permitted renewals. The STA considered the absence in Portuguese law of a rule enabling the determination of contractual conversion as a violation of EU Law and, therefore, also considered the principle of Union law primacy. The STA’s decision is controversial, but it is still considered a turning point in the labor law of and in the Public Administration. It remains to be seen how the system will remain in place and how civil service workers should be classified.

Digital Platform Companies Created a Business Association


Authors: David Carvalho Martins, Partner and Head of Employment, and Tiago Sequeira Mousinho – DCM | Littler

In September, three digital platform companies in Portugal came together to create a business association, named APAD (Associação Portuguesa das Aplicações Digitais). According to its founders, the association’s goal is to represent its members in Portugal in defense of their common interests.

This association arrives in a time when the Parliament discusses the contractual relations between the platform collaborators and the companies, as well as the standards within the context of the Government’s “Decent Work Agenda” (Agenda do Trabalho Digno) initiative. Under the Agenda, there is a presumption of employment contracts when there is evidence of an employment relationship between the companies and the platform collaborators, as well as between the platform collaborator and the clients. The association intends to participate in the public hearings on the Agenda.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.