PORTUGAL: Annual Update – Expected labour law changes in 2016

Mandatory leave for fathers

Mandatory paternity leave for the father: New paternity leave rules are expected come into effect in 2016. Fathers currently have a right to 10 days’ paternity leave. This will be increased to 15 days, but the first 5 will need to be taken immediately after the child is born.
Action required:
(1) We expect the new legislation to kick into effect on the same day that the 2016 State Budget is approved. Employers should monitor this.
(2) Employers should review current family leave policies and amend to reflect the new rule.
(3) Staff should be notified of the change.

Mandatory holiday

Reinstating mandatory holiday: Parliament may reinstate the 4 national mandatory holidays that were eliminated in 2013. Whether this happens is uncertain, but it looks likely.
Action required: Monitor how this develops.

Potential fixed term contract changes

Several expected changes regarding fixed term employment: Several changes could happen in 2016. The legislation has not been formally proposed yet, so this could push implementation back into 2017.
The potential changes include: (a) modifying employee incentives to encourage permanent contract hires; (b) increased social security contributions for employers that resort too often to fixed-term hiring; and (c) more limited situations when fixed term contracts can be used.
Action required: Monitor how this develops.