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Labor law in Portugal.

Learn about employment law in Portugal thanks to Horizons’ up-to-date guide.

Horizons is where real, local hiring expertise meets world-class customer service. Quickly and compliantly hire employees in more than 150 countries worldwide, without the need to open a local entity.

Notice period laws in Portugal

Dismissals

In Portugal, mandatory notice periods for dismissals vary depending on the length of service. 

These figures apply to employees on indefinite-term employment contracts. The notice periods vary slightly for workers on fixed-term contracts.

For workers in their probation period:

  • <60 days → no notice 
  • 60-120 days → seven days of notice
  • >120 days → 14 days of notice

After probation: 

  • <1 year employment → min. 15 days
  • 1-5 years → min. 30 days
  • 5-10 years → min. 60 days
  • >10 years → min. 75 days
  • Standard → one month

Resignations in Portugal

Notice periods for resignations vary depending on length of service. These figures apply to employees on indefinite-term employment contracts. The notice periods vary slightly for workers on fixed-term contracts:

During probation:

  • <60 days → no notice
  • 60-120 days → seven days of notice
  • >120 days → 14 days of notice

After probation:

  • <2 years employment → min. 30 days
  • >2 years employment → min. 60 days
  • Standard → one month

Severance laws in Portugal

Employees in Portugal are entitled to severance payments if they are not in their probation period and are dismissed under ordinary circumstances by their employer.

Severance payments should be between 12 days and one month of salary for every year of service, up to a maximum of 12 months of salary.

We recommend always paying severance to employees upon dismissal in order to avoid legal challenges.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ):

The most relevant legal document in Portugal is the Labour Code / Labor Code of Portugal. You can find an English version of the Labour Code here.

You can terminate an employee during the probation period in Portugal. See the following rules governing employee termination during the probation period:

  • <60 days → no notice 
  • 60-120 days → seven days of notice
  • >120 days → 14 days of notice

Yes, the employee can terminate employment during the probation period in Portugal. They follow these rules:

  • <60 days → no notice 
  • 60-120 days → seven days of notice
  • >120 days → 14 days of notice

After the probationary period, the regulations around terminating employment is as follows:

  • <2 years employment → min. 30 days
  • >2 years employment → min. 60 days
  • Standard → Statutory minimum. There is no expectation to give additional notice than what is required by law.

Note that in Portugal, if an employer terminates an employee, they are required to pay severance. The rate for severance payment varies depending on the seniority of the employee, but it ranges from a minimum 12 days of salary, to 1 month of salary per year of service up to a maximum 12 months of salary.

 

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