• Insights

Monitoring employees’ body temperature: Portugal gives the green light

Written by
pbbr, the exclusive Portuguese member of Ius Laboris.
The Portuguese legislature has passed a law allowing employers to monitor the body temperature of employees before coming to work.

Last month the Portuguese Data Protection Authority (CNPD) issued guidelines regarding monitoring of employee health data, including body temperature. According to those guidelines (discussed in more detail here), such monitoring can only be carried out by health authorities or by the employees themselves through self-monitoring.

In response to these guidelines, on 1 May the Portuguese legislature enacted a law that expressly permits monitoring of employees’ body temperature by the employer for the purpose of access to the workplace. Access can be denied to employees with a temperature higher than normal (which the text of the law does not specify).

It is important to note that any such monitoring must still comply with the rules regarding individual data protection. Those rules expressly prohibit keeping records of body temperature associated with the employee’s identity, except with their express consent.