Portugal Makes It Illegal for Your Boss to Text You After Work

The move is part of a wider swath of laws designed to help remote workers.
​Photo: Getty stock image
Photo: Getty stock image

The Portuguese parliament has passed new labour laws to give workers a healthier work-life balance and to attract “digital nomads” to the country.

Employers could face penalties for contacting employees outside work hours, according to the new laws. 

The legislation, approved on Friday, comes following the expansion of home working after the coronavirus pandemic, according to Portugal’s Socialist Party government. 


Under new rules, employers could be penalised for contacting employees after work and will be forced to pay for increased expenses as a result of working from home – such as gas and electricity bills. 

Further rules will be implemented to aid employees at home, such as banning employers from monitoring their workers at home and ensuring workers must meet with their boss every two months to stop isolation.

Not all legislation designed to help home workers passed through parliament, however. The so-called “Right to Disconnect” – a law giving workers the ability to switch off work devices – was not voted through.

"The pandemic has accelerated the need to regulate what needs to be regulated," Portugal's Minister of Labour and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho said during the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon last week.

"Telework can be a 'game changer' if we profit from the advantages and reduce the disadvantages.

"We consider Portugal one of the best places in the world for these digital nomads and remote workers to choose to live in, we want to attract them to Portugal," she said.