KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2017
Legal challenge to classification of internships
The public prosecutor will bring legal proceedings against companies with the aim of ensuring that all internships are classified as employment contracts subject to regular employment conditions.
Restrictions and additional cost for the use of fixed-term employment contracts
Fixed-term employment contracts will be subject to severe limitations in 2017, particularly regarding the hiring of long-term unemployed workers and workers looking for their first job.
In addition, there is a plan to increase the employer’s social security contribution for companies that resort to fixed-term employment.
Additional collective bargaining protections
It is anticipated that there will be severe restrictions to prevent collective bargaining agreements lapsing.
Ban on agreeing additional hours by individuals
The government has announced its intention to ban agreements to “bank of hour” schemes whereby employees agree on an individual basis to work longer hours and to limit this flexibility to arrangements agreed pursuant to collective bargaining agreements.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS FOR 2016
Increases in the national minimum wage
Following the years of the bailout programme, the national minimum wage was increased to €530 per month for full-time workers. It is expected that the national minimum wage will be increased to €557 by 2017, €580 by 2018, and €600 by 2019.
Reinstatement of bank holidays
During the bailout programme, four bank holidays were suspended. In 2016, these bank holidays were fully reinstated.
Regulation against forced work
The government introduced new legislation extending the liability for employment credits and pecuniary fines applicable for employment-related administrative offences to (i) companies that use agency work, and (ii) to entities benefiting from services rendered by third parties who allocate workers to those entities’ premises.
With thanks to Nuno Morgado of PLMJ – Sociedade de Advogados, RL for his invaluable collaboration on this update.