Decree 19/2011 of 6 December was published in the official Portuguese gazette (Diário of the República de Portugal) and approved the Convention on Social Security between the Portuguese Republic and Republic of Mozambique (the "Convention"). This document, which was signed in Lisbon on 30 April 2010, did not come into effect immediately in the Mozambican legal system, because it requires ratification by the Mozambican Parliament.
The Convention is a response by both Governments to keep up with the growing exchange of workers. This growth has given rise to a series of challenges relating to social security benefits - for salaried workers and self-employed workers, including the schemes for voluntary maintenance of contributions - in the event of sickness, maternity, disability, old age and death.
The Convention has not made any fundamental changes to the social security systems of each country. Instead, it maintains the systems in force in each country and limits itself to establishing a series of mechanisms to facilitate, coordinate and integrate both systems. This makes it possible to provide social protection to emigrant workers and their families, under conditions of equality and reciprocity between the two countries.
Five years have now passed since the Convention was signed, and the Assembly of the Republic of Mozambique (the Parliament) has taken the next step to put it into effect in the Mozambican legal system. It did this, on 9 November 2016, by approving the Decision that ratifies Convention on Social Security between Mozambique and Portugal.
The Convention has a number of guiding principles, in particular, the principle of equal treatment, which is set out in article 3. This principle is the basis for a significant reduction in the disparities and barriers that have the potential to prejudice Social Security beneficiaries in certain situations. However, article 7 of the Convention prohibits any improper accumulation of benefits and article 7(1) addresses the situation of various benefits of the same nature being paid for the same period.
As the application of the provisions of the Convention involves two countries, article 8 sets out the general rule to determine the legislation applicable in any given case. Under this article, people covered by the Convention are exclusively subject to the legislation of the Contracting State where they work. This rule applies even if their permanent residence in another State, or if the...