international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

Portugal: Social Support – Decent Work Agenda

The Decent Work Agenda, approved by Law no. 13/2023 of 3 April and in force since 1 May 2023, introduced a set of measures aimed at fighting precarious forms of engaging the workforce, valuing young people in the labour market, promoting a better work-life balance, and boosting a labour collective bargaining negotiations and employees’ participation rights. 

Decree-Law No. 53/2023 published on the 5th of July has closed the gap in the regulation by providing for the social support dimension of the Decent Work Agenda. The July Act contains measures aimed at supporting and protecting employees, who young students who work on school holidays and employees in the event of illness, death, paternity, maternity, and adoption. This Decree-Law takes effect retroactively on 1 May 2023, when the Decent Work Agenda entered into force. The new rules will apply not only to employment contracts entered after May 1st but also to pre-existing contracts. 

This decree-law aims to strengthen the balance between work and family life by regulating parental protection and reinforcing the options for shared parental rights between parents. To this end, the Decree-Law establishes an increase in the initial parental allowance and the extended parental allowance to, respectively, 90% and 40% of the remuneration when there is an effective sharing of parental responsibilities. The approved provisions also add flexibility to the parental leave rules, allowing paid leave on a part-time basis after the first 120 days of parental leave. It also promotes work-life balance and an easier return to work, while making it possible to extend childcare during the first year of the child. These rights also apply to employees adopting children or who are taking-up foster care responsibilities. 

Student workers and young students working during school holidays are now allowed to accumulate annual earnings of up to €10,640 (14 times the guaranteed minimum monthly wage) with family allowances, study grants, and survivors’ pensions. 

Social protection is reinforced in the context of sickness in the general social security system. The possibility to justify short-term sickness by self-declaration is extended to public sector employees under the convergent social protection system. In addition, the new rules allow the existing provisions in the private investment sector promoting work-life balance for working parents and carers to be extended to public sector employees covered by the convergent social protection system.