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Notice period in Portugal.

Learn about the notice period 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.

What is the minimum notice period when resigning 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 → Statutory minimum. There is no expectation to give additional notice than what is required by law.

What are the consequences of an insufficient notice period in Portugal?

From the employer side, payment can be submitted in lieu of notice in Portugal, and in all cases of termination with reason, it is required to provide notice or payment. Insufficient notice period would require payment to the employee for the days they are entitled to notice.
 
If neither notice period nor payment in lieu are provided, the employer has committed a “serious administrative infraction”, and the dismissal is then considered unlawful. Such a situation opens the employer to liabilities including:
  • Compensation for damages to the employee, including payment for salary not received since the dismissal AND
  • Mandated reinstatement of the employee or compensation in place of the reinstatement (upon employee’s request) of the amount equal to 15 – 45 days of compensation. The total number of days owed would be determined by a judge 
 
Note that in dismissals as part of disciplinary actions for contract-breaching employee behavior, notice period nor payment are required.
 
From the employee side, not honoring the contractual and legal notice period could cause the employee to owe money to the employer; generally payment in lieu of notice paid from the employee to the employer is acceptable in Portugal. In cases of an employee providing insufficient notice period in Portugal, an employee would need to pay:
  • Salary amount for the days included in the mandatory notice period AND
  • Any damages caused as a result of non-compliance
 

Is it possible to reduce the notice period in Portugal under exceptional circumstances?

The notice period in Portugal can be reduced with payment in lieu of notice.

In force majeure cases, employees and employers should always refer to their contracts; but in general, all parties are released from obligations until the event stops.

Note that in cases where a business runs out of capital, they would still be responsible for providing appropriate notice or payment in lieu of notice.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ):

After the probation period, employees in Portugal must provide the following notice before resigning, depending on amount of service:

  • 15 days notice (if employed less than 6 months)
  • 30 days notice (if employed more than 6 months)

After the probation period, employers in Portugal must give the following notice before terminating employment, depending on the amount of service:

  • 30 days (if employed less than 2 years) 
  • 60 days (if employed more than 2 years)

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