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The Guide to Annual Leave and Holiday Entitlements in Portugal for Overseas Employers

When you assign employees abroad, one of the complexities is learning the local holiday and leave entitlements.  We had a client with employees assigned to Portugal who needed help understanding what was required for their assigned staff.

We responded by breaking it down into three different categories: annual vacation leave, public holidays and bereavement leave.

1.    Annual Leave in Portugal

We explained to our client that the labor laws are fairly specific on annual leave, and in Portugal employees are entitled to a minimum of 22 days of annual leave excluding public holidays. It is up to the employer if they wish to grant more leave than the statutory minimum, but in any case, the 22 days will be accrued if not used.

This was an issue because our client’s home office policy is that employees are entitled to 2 weeks (10 days) of leave only plus a 1 “floating day”, and they do not pay out leave and only carry over 1 week per year. However, this is below the statutory minimum in Portugal and is not compliant. The client has to offer employees the minimum required in Portugal, regardless of what the home policy states.

Our account manager also had to advise the employees of their accrued leave and to check with them if they will be taking this leave prior to the 29th December.  If not, they have the option of having this accrued leave paid out in their salary at the end of the year.

An essential part of administering the leave accrual for our client, is letting the employee know that when they take leave they need to inform us each month, so the accruals are updated correctly.

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2.    Public Holidays in Portugal

Next, we sent them a full list of public holidays, which all employees in Portugal will have off:

January 1                     Ano Novo / New Year

March 30                       Sexta-Feira Santa / Good Friday

April 25                        Dia da Liberdade / Liberty Day

May 1                             Dia do Trabalhador / Labour Day

May 31                           Corpo de Deus / Corpus Christi

June 10                        Dia de Portugal / Portugal day

August 15                      Assunção de Nossa Senhora / Assumption of Mary

October 5                       Implantação da República / Establishment of the Portuguese Republic

November 1                     Dia de Todos os Santos / All Saints’ Day

December 1                     Restauração da Independência / Restoration of independence

December 8                     Imaculada Conceição / Immaculate Conception

December 25                   Natal / Christmas

3.    Bereavement Leave in Portugal

The final issue we addressed was that of bereavement leave when a family member passes away.  The rule is that the employee is entitled to two days of paid bereavement leave, but there must be two supporting documents: the death certificate and the Probative document (which the employer receives from Portuguese authorities).

The Shield GEO Solution

As you review all of these leave and holiday rules, it becomes apparent why our clients choose to use the Shield GEO employment solution for their staff overseas.  Compliance with local labor and employment laws is essential, and hard to track from the home office.  We solve this problem with our local employer of record and dedicated account manager, who oversees every aspect of overseas employment.

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The information in this article is subject to changes in local legislation.

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