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It’s Now Illegal in Portugal for Your Boss To Text You After Work

It’s Now Illegal in Portugal for Your Boss To Text You After Work
11 November 2021

We all have the right to disconnect from work – but the Portuguese government has gone a step further in ensuring this.

Portugal's Socialist Party has approved new rules where employers of more than ten people could be fined for contacting employees outside of office hours.


What Are the New Rules?


  • Employers will have to contribute to electricity and internet bills incurred by home working.
  • Companies cannot monitor their employees while they work at home.
  • Working parents can work from home without prior arrangement with bosses, up until their child is eight years old.


Euronews also reports that measures to tackle loneliness are also included in the remote working rules, with companies expected to organise face-to-face meetings at least every two months.


Burnout in an “Always On” Culture


Being always contactable by your boss can lead to stress and anxiety, as well as feeling that you must always be “present” at work no matter the circumstances. Research by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development showed that 77 per cent of employers have observed presenteeism in employees who are working from home in the last year. Presenteeism, is the act of continuing to work when unwell, and it's highlighted an "always on" work culture, says the CIPD.

The survey of 668 people professionals, representing 2.7 million employees, also found leaveism – working outside of contracted hours or using annual leave to work or when ill – is an issue, with seven in ten (70 per cent) employers observing this unhealthy behaviour over the same period.

Would you welcome a similar law in the UK, where your boss would be legally prevented from bothering you outside work hours? Let us know on Twitter using the hashtag #PortugalWorkingRules

Picture: a photograph of a person looking at their smart phone

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 11 November 2021


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