Portugal. The Labour and Employment Disputes Review

Susana Bradford Ferreira, André Pestana Nascimento.

Employment relationships in Portugal are extensively regulated by the statutory law and regulations that constitute the Labour Code and its complementary legislation on labour and employment matters.

Collective bargaining agreements also play an important part in the Portuguese labour regime. These instruments can even bind an employer that did not sign or is not a member of the employers’ organisation that concluded the agreement, if the government decides to extend its provisions to a certain field of business. In addition, employment agreements remain a relevant source of labour law.

In general, employees in Portugal enjoy a comparatively high level of protection, with a special emphasis given to the constitutional principle of stability of the employment relationship. Portuguese law does not recognise the concept whereby the employer terminates the employment simply by giving notice, except in cases of the employment agreement being terminated within the trial period or the expiry of fixed-term employment agreements. Thus, dismissals without cause are forbidden and shall be deemed null and void.

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