Contacting employees out of work hours is now illegal in Portugal

Ever had an annoying boss? Contacting employees outside of office hours has officially been deemed illegal behaviour in Portugal.

The new law was recently introduced banning all employers from contacting their staff outside regular working hours.

This includes all messages via phone, direct message, and email.

Source- My Modern Net

The law stipulates that “the employer must respect the privacy of the worker,” inclusive of rest periods and family time.

Should any violation of the law occur, the act will be considered a “serious” offence and warrant a consequential fine.

A similar law was instated in France in 2017, giving French workers the right to ignore after-hours business emails.

Working from home has become the world’s new normal and Portugal has developed regulatory legislation.

The new law forms a part of this legislation giving them the right to opt-out of working remotely.

However, if compatible with their working conditions and tasks, employees are able to request remote working conditions.

The new measure also suggests employers are responsible for aiding remote working and providing employees with the required tools to do so.

Any additional expenses, including gas and electricity bill increases, incurred from working at home should be reimbursed by the employer.

The law came into effect last Saturday after being approved by the Portuguese parliament a day prior.

The country has been run by Prime Minister Antonio Costa as part of a socialist government for the past 6 years.

This could however change early next year with a January 2022 snap election being called following a budget standoff.

Lisbon, the nation’s capital, has fought hard to appeal the initiatives allowing workers to take advantage of the remote work and relocate or travel outside their home country.

By the end of 2021 remote workers are set to make up 32% of the workforce. This is a significant increase from the pre covid figure of 17%.