Portuguese American Journal

Right to Rest: Employers banned from contacting staff after work hours – Portugal

Portugal among the first countries to prohibit employers from calling, messaging and/or texting employees after work hours.

Approved by Parliament, the new rules will require businesses with more than 10 employees to pay fines if they violate their employees’ “right to rest.”

According to the new law, “The employer must respect the privacy of the worker,” including periods of rest and family time. 

Among other measures, employers must compensate home-based employees for expenses incurred by telecommuting, such as electricity and internet bills. Employers can write off these costs as a business expense.

While employees with children up to 8 years old may to choose to work remotely, employers are forbidden from monitoring their employees while they work at home.

The new policies apply to all workers who perform remotely or face-to-face. Exceptions are only allowed for “unforeseen or urgent situations.”

The measures were designed to attract “digital nomads” from around the world, as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the goal “to accelerate the need to regulate what needs to be regulated.”

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


**Report a correction or typo to editor@portuguese-american-journal.com. We are committed to upholding our journalistic standards, including accuracy. Carolina Matos/Editor.

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