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Council of Ministers Resolution no. 40-A/2020, of May 29

Relevance from a labor point of view

June 2, 2020

Through the Council of Ministers Resolution no. 40-A/2020, of May 29, the Government continued the deconfinement process started on April 30, 2020, continued on May 18, 2020, in the framework of a controlled evolution of the epidemiological situation in Portugal.

It was necessary, however, to declare a state of calamity again, prolonging this scenario at least until next June 14, 2020.

 

It is still necessary, for public health reasons, to observe rules of occupancy, permanence, and physical distance, as well as hygiene rules.

 

Some of the measures have great relevance from the labor point of view, especially in the scope of the telework and work organization regime, specifically the following:

 

  • Telecommuting is, therefore, no longer mandatory as of June 1, 2020, with the exceptions provided by law;
  • Risk prevention and mitigation measures must be implemented, respecting the maximum limits of normal working hours, daily and weekly rest periods;
  • Employee rotation schedules should be adopted between telecommuting and work performed at the usual workplace, on a daily or weekly basis;
  • Different entrance and exit times should be adopted, as well as different times for breaks and meals;
  • Provided that the applicable legal procedure is followed, the employer may change the organization of working time;
  • In order for a worker, who requests telework, to be granted this claim, it must be considered whether he is in one of the following situations

(i) Workers who are covered by the exceptional regime for the protection of the immunosuppressed and chronically ill, and must present medical certification;

(ii) Disabled worker, with a degree of disability equal to or greater than 60%;

(iii) Worker with a child or other dependent under 12 years old, or, regardless of age, with a disability or chronic illness, resulting from the suspension of school and non-school activities in school or social equipment for early childhood support or disability, outside of school breaks. Currently, with the reopening of daycare centers and preschools, it will apply to children under 12 years old attending the 1st and 2nd cycle.

 

The telework regime is also mandatory when the physical spaces where workers perform their activities and the organization of work itself do not allow compliance with the guidelines of the Directorate-General of Health (DGS) and the Authority for Working Conditions – in this case, the employment relationship is not relevant and this regime should be applied whenever the duties of the worker allow it.

 

It should also be noted that, in the case of couples with children, the telecommuting regime is only applicable to one of the parents, regardless of the number of dependent children or dependents.

 

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