University of Algarve pardoned for illegally hiring lecturers

The University of the Algarve (Ualg) illegally spent €13,500 to hire lecturers in 2012, according to an audit by the Court of Auditors.

It all comes down to how they were hired, explains the court.

Instead of hiring them as self-employed workers on “green receipts” (“prestação de serviços”), the university should have hired them under an employment contract (“trabalho subordinado”).

Ualg is off the hook, however, as it explained it only hired the lecturers due to a “shortage of staff”.

According to Lusa news agency, the university’s explanation convinced the court to pardon any kind of legal proceedings as the “measure was taken to ensure the normal functioning of its courses”.

Says Ualg, the lecturers were hired for the university’s health faculty, which was in “dire need of staff” for one of its masters’ courses, and its human and social sciences faculty, which was struck by an “unusual and unexpected” string of medical leaves.

Meantime, the audit has also advised Ualg to “analyse the future of the Sea Science Centre (CCMAR),” which in 2012 registered a loss of over €180,000.

Although it is currently run independently, most of the university’s sea-related research is conducted through CCMAR.

The court thus questions why it doesn’t just take over the centre.

Ualg says, however, that it doesn’t have the human resources to take over all of CCMAR’s projects.