Requirements for Foreign Employees to Work
A general principle foresees that expatriates working on work permit are granted equal rights and obligations as national employees – requires a written form of the employment contracts with expatriates working on work permit (non-EU). In accordance with the law, companies must assure the candidate holds a residence visa or permit specifically granted for carrying out a professional activity as employee in Portugal. In cases where the employer has the intention to employ a foreign citizen (non-EU) currently living abroad, a statement confirming that the employment offer is included in the legal defined quota or that no quota has been set and that no preferential candidate (Portuguese, EU citizen) was found to perform the job shall be issued by the Portuguese Institute of Employment and vocational training and delivered to the candidate for submission together with the visa request. For the same purpose, the employer shall also provide the candidate with an employment contract or promise of employment contract.
Does a Foreign Employer need to Establish or Work through a Local Entity to Hire an Employee?
Hiring a foreign employee who does not hold a residence visa or permit for carrying out a professional activity as an employee in Portugal may trigger an employer misdemeanour and in addition an order to suspend the employer’s activity may be issued for a time length of between 3 months up to 5 years. In setting annual overall quota of job opportunities available for non-EU citizens, the Portuguese Government may exclude sectors or activities where labour is not considered as needed; however, no quota has been set since 2009.
Limitations on Background Checks
There are some legal restrictions on conducting background verifications on job candidates and employees such as drug tests, financial and credit checks, criminal checks, academic qualifications or previous employments. Some legal restrictions also apply to conducting health checks and to selecting a candidate on the basis of health information. Under data protection laws, personal data must be maintained only for the period strictly required.
Restrictions on Application/Interview Questions
Restrictions on applications and interview questions are in line with the limitations on background checks related to the candidate’s private life and on the candidate’s health or pregnancy.