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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Portugal. Law prohibiting text messages and phone calls to employees after working hours

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Portugal has banned bosses from texting and emailing employees outside of working hours under a law known as the “right to rest”. The new regulations are to ensure a balance between work and private life of employees. Employers face financial penalties for contacting employees outside of working hours.

The new regulations introduce penalties for employers who will contact employees outside working hours. Companies will also not be able to monitor their employees while working remotely.

Employee bill surcharges

The new law also provides for compensation for higher electricity or gas bills used by remote workers during working hours. Measures have also been included to deal with the isolation that remote workers may experience, and companies are expected to organize regular face-to-face meetings.

There are also new rules enabling employees with children to work remotely. Parents will be able to work from home indefinitely without prior consent from their employer until their child turns eight.

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Portugal wants to attract “digital nomads”

Portuguese Labor and Social Security Minister Ana Mendes Godinho said at a conference in Lisbon last week that “teleworking can change the rules of the game,” but its popularity needs to be regulated.

She also hoped that enhanced labor protection would attract more foreigners to the country.

“We consider Portugal one of the best places in the world for these digital nomads and remote workers to live in, we want to attract them to Portugal,” said Godinho.

Lisbon streetsMs Garmyder / Shutterstock.com

Visas for non-Portuguese workers

Portugal already has a temporary resident visa to attract entrepreneurs and freelancers. The Portuguese island of Madeira has a “digital nomad village” with free Wi-Fi and a desk.

Several other countries have introduced the so-called “Digital nomad visas”, as opposed to standard tourist permits, incl. Barbados and Croatia.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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