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Employment Contracts in Portugal

1. Minimum Requirements

Essentially, employment contracts may be open ended or fixed term. The duration of a fixed term employment contract is limited in time and to a certain number of renewals.

Portuguese law requires fixed-term contracts, intermittent contracts, teleworking and part-time employment contracts (fixed or indefinite) to be made in writing. This requirement does not apply to open ended employment contracts or fixed term contracts of very short duration.

2. Fixed/Unlimited Time Contracts

For fixed term contracts the employer is to provide the facts on which the existence of the term and the justification of the contract are based. Failure to provide such information in writing in the employment contract shall render the fixed term invalid and convert the contract into an open-ended contract.

3. Trial Period

The maximum duration for a trial period differs depending on whether we are looking at open ended or fixed term employment contracts. Trial periods can be reduced by either individual or collective agreements.

4. Notice Period

The employer cannot unilaterally terminate open-ended employment contracts upon notice. Employees, when terminating their employment contracts, have to give a notice period of 30 days or 60 days depending on whether the contracts have lasted for less or for more than 2 years.

For fixed term contracts, notice periods are of 15 or 30 days depending on whether the employment contracts have been entered into for less or more than 6 months, respectively.

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Portugal, please contact Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados
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