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Forms of Employments in Portugal

Updated: 5 days ago

In Portugal there are several types of employment contracts and all of them bind the employment relationship between a worker and a company. Come meet them.

For those who are going to enter the labor market, it can be a little tricky to understand the differences between the different types of employment contract in force.

Doubts may arise regarding the expiry, duration, and trial period, which vary depending on the type of contract.

It is necessary to be aware of all aspects, to know your rights and duties while.

Foreigners wishing to pursue a professional activity in Portugal will have the same rights and duties as Portuguese citizens.

Usually, the employer establishes a relationship with the employee through an employment contract, which can be written or verbal.

The employment contract includes the rights and duties of each party, the conditions for providing the service, especially the remuneration that the employer will pay the employee.

In addition, a promise of employment contract can be entered into, which needs to be made in writing and include the following aspects:

  • Identification, signatures and domicile or seat of the parties;

  • Unequivocal statement from whoever promises to enter into said contract;

  • Activity to be provided and its retribution.

There is also the possibility of a trial period in the initial phase of employment contracts, where both parties see an interest in maintaining or not the contractual relationship.

Types of contracts in Portugal

The employment contract may vary, according to the company and the activity, and according to your own probationary periods:

Fixed-term employment contract

Temporary contract, that is, its duration and time of termination is previously determined by the employer.

Most used in the following situations:

  • Direct or indirect replacement of a worker who is temporarily unable to work or pending the decision to dismiss with just cause;

  • Exceptional increase in company activity;

  • Seasonal activity;

  • Replacement of a full-time worker who starts to provide part-time work for a specified period.

This type of contract cannot be longer than 2 years. It can be renewed up to twice, as long as its duration does not exceed 1 year, and the initial conditions are maintained.

Term employment contract uncertain

A company uses an uncertain term contract to satisfy temporary needs. In this case, there is no defined term for the termination of the contract.

This type of contract has a maximum duration of 4 years, at the end of which the employee is entitled to receive compensation.

Indefinite employment contract

This type of contract can be for an indefinite period, without any provision for termination.

In this case, the termination during the trial period, is made by any party, being able to do so without prior notice and without having to invoke just cause. Likewise, there is no place for any kind of compensation.

Short term employment contract

Contracts of very short duration serve as a response to an exceptional increase in the company's activity, whose cycle is irregular due to the respective market, such as in the agricultural or tourism sector.

Cannot be longer than 35 days and cannot exceed 70 days per calendar year.

Part-time employment contract

This contract exists when the weekly working period is less than the full time in the same situation.

The maximum percentage limit of the full time that determines what the split time is can be set.

Temporary job

A temporary work company hires and remunerates a worker, placing him in another entity. The last entity exercises the powers of authority and direction.

There is no minimum duration limit for the temporary employment contract.

Services provision

This contract is applied to self-employed workers with their own business who perform services for different clients.

In these cases, it is the self-employed - or service providers - who have the obligation to pay taxes.

Additional Information

  • The guaranteed minimum monthly wage (also known as the National Minimum Wage) is €665;

  • The normal working period is limited to 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week;

  • Each worker is entitled, in each calendar year, to a period of paid vacation, which expires on January 1 of each year. The minimum period is 22 vacation days per year;

  • While the worker is on vacation, the pay must be equal to that which he would receive if he were in effective service;

  • During the vacation period, the employee is entitled to a vacation allowance, including base salary and other benefits.


Connect with Maria Vieria on Linkedin

BA in Human Resources Management and Development

University Lusófona do Porto

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