Portugal has a new law that bans bosses from contacting their employees outside work hours.
The new labour laws, approved by the country’s Parliament, are a response to the explosion of home working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Euro News quoted Portugal’s ruling Socialist Party as saying.
Under the new rules, employers could face penalties for contacting workers outside of office hours. Companies will also have to help pay for expenses incurred by remote working, such as higher electricity and internet bills.
But the amendments to Portugal’s labour laws have limits: they will not apply to companies with fewer than 10 employees.
The legislation will enable employees in Portugal to balance their office and domestic affairs, said experts.
There are also new rules on allowing staff with children to work remotely, BBC reported.
Parents will be allowed to work at home indefinitely without seeking prior approval from their employers until their child turns eight, as per the publication’s report.
Portugal’s Minister of Labour and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho, told a conference in Lisbon last week that “telework can be a game-changer” but its growth needs to be regulated.
She also hoped the enhanced labour protections would attract more foreigners to the country.
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