Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, lies along the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe and is bordered by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both of which are autonomous regions with their regional governments. Portugal is a founding member of NATO and entered the European Communities (EC) – now the European Unions (EU) – in 1986.
*Please note that the official currency is the currency of remuneration when employed through WorkMotion in Portugal.
Euro (€, EUR)
Languages spoken :
10.3 million (2021 est.)
Minimum wage 2022 :
Cost of Living index :
$$$ (64 of 139 countries)
Payroll Frequency :
VAT - standard rate :
GDP - real growth rate :
4.9% (2021 est.)
The national holidays mentioned below are valid for the year 2023.
Portugal has 13 mandatory holidays. In addition to the mandatory holidays, the Tuesday of Carnival and the municipal holiday of the locality can be observed as a holiday, declared by means of collective labor regulation or employment contract.
The approximate time for sharing the contract with an employee in Portugal is 5 business days assuming no special requests or changes to our standard employment contract. Any such requests or changes would need to undergo internal and external review, directly leading to a time delay.
NOTE: This number is subject to change and is only an estimation of the Contract Sharing Time. The estimated Contract Sharing Time begins from the moment that WorkMotion has received all required information from both the client and the employee.
The normal working period cannot exceed eight hours a day and 40 hours a week.
Employers and employees may by agreement provide for an increase in the normal daily working period for up to two hours and the weekly working period for up to 50 hours, not counting the overtime work provided for reasons of force majeure. In a week whose working duration is less than 40 hours, the reduction may be up to two hours a day or, if agreed, in days or half days, without prejudice to the right to meal allowance.
Overtime can only be provided when the company has to deal with an eventual and transitory increase in work and there is no justification for the admission of a worker. Overtime may also be provided in case of force majeure or when it is essential to prevent or repair serious damage to the company or its viability.
Overtime work is subject to the following limits, per worker:
Depending on the type of contract, the number of days vary. For a fixed-term contract, the probation period can be 15 days for a contract lasting less than six months or 30 days for a contract lasting six months or more. For a permanent contract, the probation period can last between 90 days to 240 days depending on the nature of the role.
The probation period may also be shortened by collective labor regulations or by the written agreement of the parties. It may even be excluded by written agreement between the parties.
Termination notice periods vary depending on the contract types, probation period length, contract length, and types of dismissal.
Either party may terminate the contract without prior notice or compensation if the probation period does not exceed 60 days. If the probation period lasts longer than 60 days, the employer can terminate the contract of the following:
|Probation Period||Employer Notice|
|More than 60 days and up to 120 days||7 days|
|More than 120 days||15 days|
Employers’ notice periods vary between 15 and 75 days depending on the types of contract and causes of dismissal.
Employees can terminate a fixed-term contract with a just cause of the following:
|Contract Length||Employee Notice|
|Less than 6 months||At least 15 days|
|At least 6 months||At least 30 days|
Employees can terminate a permanent contract without cause of the following:
|Employment Length||Termination Notice Period|
|Up to 2 years||At least 30 days|
|More than 2 years||At least 60 days|
Every calendar year employees are entitled to 22 days of paid vacation. The period begins and ends on January 1, and vacations should be taken within this time slot, but they may be taken up until April 30.
Employees can receive sick leave benefits from the fourth day of sickness from social security for up to 1,095 days, and for unlimited time in the case of tuberculosis. The employer usually pays the first three days of sick leave. The daily sick pay is between 55% to 75% of employees’ reference income depending on the length and nature of their sickness.
All the parental leaves mentioned below are covered by Social Security.
Eligible mothers and fathers are entitled to a total of 120 or 150 days paid initial parental leave, at 100% or 80% of the salary, respectively. This leave is increased in certain conditions.
Within the initial parental leave, mothers must take a compulsory maternity leave of six weeks following childbirth, with an option of requesting a voluntary before childbirth of up to 30 days.
Within the initial parental leave, fathers must take compulsory paternity leave of 20 days after childbirth:
The father is also entitled to five optional business days, consecutive or interpolated, if taken simultaneously with the mother’s initial parental leave.
After the initial parental leave, parents may take an extended parental leave, for a period of three months each. Those extending the leave receive an extended parental allowance worth 25% of reference pay.
Prospective adopters adopting a child under age 15 are entitled to adoption leave of up to 120 or 150 consecutive days, at 100% or 80% of the salary, respectively. This leave is increased in certain conditions.
An employee shall be entitled to unpaid leave from work to provide unavoidable and essential assistance, to a child under the age of 12 or, regardless of age, to a child with a disability or chronic illness, up to 30 days a year or throughout the period of eventual hospitalization.
After the extended parental leave is exhausted, parents are entitled to consecutive or in parts unpaid childcare leave, up to a limit of two years.
Employees shall be entitled to 20 consecutive days of unpaid leave following the death of their child. In the event of the death of a spouse or parent, the duration of paid leave shall be five consecutive days.
The public employee is entitled to leave without pay for more than 60 days for training purposes.
Social security contributions are made by both employers and employees, and cover sickness, occupational diseases, maternity, paternity, adoption, unemployment, disability, pension, and death.
Employers contribute up to 26.5%, while employees contribute 11%, broken down as follows:
|Categories||Employer Contributions||Employee Contributions|
|Labor Accident Insurance||1.75% (varies)||–|
|Wage Guarantee Fund||1%||–|
Portugal has state-sponsored free universal healthcare (Serviço Nacional de Saúde, SNS). Employers do not need to contribute additionally to health insurance besides the comprehensive total of 23.75%.
The Labor Accident Insurance under Statutory Benefits covers all accident-related injury claims for employers.
Unemployment benefits (Subsídio de desemprego) are cash benefits awarded to unemployed beneficiaries to compensate for the lack of remuneration caused by the involuntary loss of employment. Due to Covid-19, unemployment benefits ending in 2021 are, exceptionally, extended for another six months.
In Portugal, old-age pension is paid to beneficiaries who have reached the state pension age. The age for retirement is 66 years and five months for both men and women. The pension amount is determined according to the beneficiary’s social security contribution record and registered earnings.
The following benefits are all covered by Portugal’s social security.
It is an amount paid monthly, intended to protect beneficiaries of the general Social Security regime in situations of permanent incapacity for work. Disability is considered to be any disabling situation, of non-professional cause, which determines permanent incapacity for work.
A one-time benefit, to compensate the applicant for the subsidy for expenses incurred with the funeral of any member of his household or any other person, including unborn children, as long as he resides in the national territory.
Benefit granted monthly to the widower or person who lived in a situation of de facto union with the social pension pensioner.
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