By Ines Oom de Sacadura, Firm: pbbr.pt

This article sets out some suggestions for employers in Portugal to help start the New Year serenely and productively.

1. Breathe in and strive for balance

Check all employees’ unused vacation and make sure the minimum possible number of days are carried over to 2020. Unused days can be taken until 30 April 2020.

Employers should also take the opportunity to make sure professional training hours are being complied with, in accordance with the organisation’s plan. Remember that, as of 1 October 2019, employees are entitled to 40 hours of training per year.

2. Manage your finances

As of 1 January 2020, the national minimum wage will increase from EUR 600.00 to EUR 635.00 per month. Make sure all salaries paid to your employees are compliant with the new regime.

3. Fresh starts: ask for feedback

Take the opportunity to conduct a survey of your employees and ask them how they feel about their job, workplace, career and general conditions. This will let you anticipate if there are any issues that need to be dealt with and will help you retaining talent and keeping key employees.

4. Save for the future

Think about internal rules and policies that you can create to help you save resources and money while protecting the environment (e.g. reduce paper waste, provide filtered water, switch to LED lightbulbs, power off computers, set up recycling bins in common areas, etc.).

5. Do not overlook overtime

Make sure overtime annual limits are not exceeded. These limits may vary between 75 and 150 hours per year, depending on the organisation’s size. Other limits may be imposed by collective bargaining agreement.