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What are the different employment contracts in Portugal?

Updated on September 21, 2020

In Portugal, the minimum working age is 16. However, to obtain a working contract, you must be 18. There are several types of employment contracts;

The fixed-term contract – is an agreement with limited duration: the employee knows the ending time, and the work tasks are defined. The length of the contract can vary between six months and three years.

The unfixed-term contract – the date of termination is undefined. However, other criteria can lead to dismissal; for example, the performance of the worker. This contract cannot exceed six years.

An open-ended contract – is a full-time contract with an indefinite period where the employee is protected against dismissal and has a high level of social protection.

The short duration contract – is an agreement up to a maximum of 60 days. It is only allowed in exceptional cases such as seasonal agricultural work or tourist events.

Portuguese law requires fixed-term contracts, and unfixed-term contracts to be in writing. This requirement does not apply to the short-duration contracts.

The Trial Period According to Aicep Portugal, the law provides a trial period contracts, where the two parties, the employee and the employer, without prior notice or indemnity, can end the contract. This trial period depends on the type of agreement. For the unfixed-term deal, it can go from 90 to 180 days, depending on the complexity of the task, and for the senior management positions, it can last up to 240 days. For the fixed-term employment contract, if its duration is less than six months, the trial period is 15 days if the period is six months or more, the trial period is 30 days.

The contract for foreignersThe employee must present all documents requested by the company. A foreign employee, with all legal authorization, have the same rights as a national employee.

The employment contract with a foreigner is subject to a written agreement and must contain all information provided to the employee. The deal is delivered to both parties, where the employer must inform the responsible ministry to inspect and accept the documents before the start date of the employee. 

The contract for the disabled or with chronic diseasesAn employee with a disability or chronic illness has the same rights. It is subject to the same duties as other workers in access to employment, vocational training, promotion or career, and working conditions. However, the employee with a disability or chronic illness is exempt from work if it could harm his health or safety.

The contract for Student-worker – The student-worker is someone who is enrolled in any level of school education, as well as a postgraduate, master’s or doctoral degree at an educational institution, or a vocational training course or temporary youth training program of six months or more. 

According to Autoridades para condição de Trabalho (ACT), the student’s working hours should be adjusted to allow the attendance of classes and the displacement to the educational establishment. When it is not possible to change the work schedule, the student is released from work without losing his rights. The maintenance of student-worker status depends on achievement in the previous school year. The working student must consult the regulations of its university previously to match his working hours.

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