Say goodbye to after-hours texts or calls! Oops, but only if you work in Portugal. The country recently introduced a new law that bans employers from contracting workers outside of their office hours, either by message, phone, or email. The law was passed by the Portuguese parliament earlier this month and has come into effect.
“The employer must respect the privacy of the worker,” including periods of rest and family time, the new law stipulates. Any violation, it continues, constitutes a “serious” offense and could result in a fine.
As reported by CNN, Portugal’s new policy is part of legislation that regulates working from home. Employees now have the right to opt out of remote work if they wish, but they can also request the arrangement if it’s compatible with their job.
The measure also stipulates that employers are responsible for providing workers with the appropriate tools to do their jobs remotely. Employers have to reimburse workers for any additional expenses, including any increase in bills such as electricity and gas, they might incur while working from home.
The country’s capital, Lisbon, has worked hard to appeal to digital nomads who want to take advantage of remote work to temporarily relocate or travel outside their home country. The practice became more common during the pandemic. Research firm Gartner estimates that remote workers will represent 32% of the global workforce by the end of 2021, compared to 17% in 2019.