New labour laws approved by parliament in the context of the ‘explosion of home working as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic’ make it illegal for bosses to text employees outside normal work hours.
Say reports, the ‘game changer’ remote work law promises “a healthier work-life balance”.
Bosses in companies of more than 10 employees could face penalties for contacting workers outside of office hours.
Companies could also have to help pay expenses incurred by remote working – meaning higher electricity or internet bills.
But the amendments to current labour laws have limits: they will not apply to companies with fewer than 10 employees, reports Euronews/ Associated Press.
One of the ‘beauties’ of the changes is that they automatically allow the parents of children under the ages of eight the right to work from home.
As Portugal’s Minister for Labour and Social Security Ana Mendes Godinho told the audience at Lisbon’s Web Summit last week, “the pandemic has accelerated the need to regulate what needs to be regulated. Remote working can be a game changer if we profit from the advantages and reduce the disadvantages.
The new legislation also introduces measures “to tackle loneliness”, explains Euronews, “with companies expected to organise face-to-face meetings at least every two months”.
In a small way, the amendments have been considered as another way of bringing benefit to Portugal. Ms Mendes Godinho said they could end up attracting foreign remote workers “seeking a change of scenery”.
“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,” she told her audience.