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What does the end of the Portuguese ‘bank of hours’ system mean for employers?

Written by
pbbr, the exclusive Portuguese member of Ius Laboris.
The Portuguese Individual ‘bank of hours’ time bank system for employees has ceased to exist from 30 September 2020. This article explains what happens next.

In September 2019, the Portuguese individual bank of hours scheme, under which companies and employees could agree on a more flexible working scheme, was repealed (by Law 93/2019 of 4 September 2019) and a transitional regime was established under which individual agreements between companies and employees in force at that time remained valid until the end of September 2020.

This means that on 30 September 2020, the individual agreements entered into will expire and flexible hours arrangements between employees and employers can no longer be applied within organisations.

It is replaced by a new ‘flexibility scheme’, which allows working hours to be increased by two hours a day and 50 hours a week, with a limit of 150 hours per year, extra time being compensated by an equivalent reduction of work, extra holiday days or payment. The ‘flexibility scheme’ will have to be approved in a referendum by at least 65% of the workers to apply from 1 October 2020, subject to the applicable legal procedures.

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