New regulations on the Decent Work Agenda

25 July 2023 2 min read

By Catarina Santos Ferreira

At a glance

  • On 3 July 2023, Decree-Law no.53/2023 was enacted. We discuss some of the key measures below.

Law 13/2023 entered into force on 1 May 2023. This Law amended the Decent Work Agenda and brought about changes to labour legislation. To view the changes, please read our previous update.

On 3 July 2023, Decree-Law no. 53/2023 was also enacted. It regulates the Decent Work Agenda and came into force on 6 July 2023, with retrospective effect from 1 May 2023. This new law aims to reinforce the protection of working students and parents, and also extend the protections which apply in the event of illness.  It includes the following measures:

  • Student-employees: Social protection of working students is increased, allowing them to accumulate annual salaries of up to EUR10,640 (x14 the minimum monthly guaranteed salary of EUR760) with family allowances, study allowances and survivors’ pensions.
  • Working parents: The initial parental allowance and the extended parental allowance has been increased to 90% and 40% of the salary respectively, when parental caring duties are effectively shared between the parents. Parental leave has also been made more flexible. The leave can now be taken on a part-time basis following the first 120 days of the birth of the child. These measures are aimed at encouraging parents to return to work whilst also still being able to care for their children during the first year of their life. The changes also apply to those who have adopted or fostered a child.
  • Social security protection: Social security protections are strengthened under the general social security scheme for illness, maternity, paternity, adoption, and death. In addition, Public Administration employees, are now able to self-declare ill-health and sickness absence.  The rules on sick pay have also been adapted to this new simplified regime.

Please note this new regulation does not change the labour code, but only regulates the measures that were provided for in the amendments that took effect in May 2023.

Impact of these recent reforms

  • ACT (Working Conditions Authority) has been carrying out inspection activities in relation to independent contractors rendering services to digital platforms. Companies have started to receive notifications relating to the new presumption of employment. This presumption may be rebutted by the platform operator; therefore it is likely that digital platform companies will face litigation in the near future, similar to what has happened in other countries.
  • Where outsourcing services are engaged for activities corresponding to the corporate purpose of the beneficiary company, the collective bargaining agreement binding the beneficiary of the activity will apply to the service provider, where it is more favourable. Unions are starting to claim the application of CBAs in relation to outsourcing services, notably in respect of employees of third parties that provide nearshoring services (for example, insurance companies).