The Employment Reform - New Challenges Of A Global Market

Author:Ms Cláudia Vaz Póvoa and Filipa Farinha Santos
Profession:NDR - Neville De Rougemont

The Commitment for Growth, Competitive and Employment (CGCE) was signed with the purpose of implementing a long term reform in the Employment Sector, whereby a more permanent, stable and competitive model is created, based on a more interventive and thought out legislation.

The new economic policies and the increment of active employment and training strategies within the Commitment will never reach the self set interventive goals if, on a parallel time scale, there isn't a coexisting intervention and restructuration of employment laws.

Thus the final dossier of the CGCE focuses exclusively on Employment Law and approaches various issues which will ultimately revolutionize Portuguese employment foundations and shorten the distance between this system and other European models.

Working Time Rules

The integration of Portugal into a global economy demands from companies a great capacity of adaptation, namely in terms of working hours.

The CGCE suggests a better use of the existing resources within the companies via the adaptation and better organization of the work time, notwithstanding the need to respect the work time limits.

Thus considered, there are three measures to be created and implemented:

Set up of a Banco de Horas agreed upon individually between the employer and the employee, in which 2 extra hours of daily work can be negotiated, with a limit of 50 weekly hours and 150 yearly hours. To date, the Banco de Horas could only be negotiated within collective conventions; Set up of a collective Banco de Horas, established in similar terms to those of the group adaptability, whereby all employees of a certain establishment or sector will be covered as long as a majority of 60% or 75% (depending if it is foreseen in a collective Convention or agreed upon individually) of the employees agree to such a measure; Faced with the above, alteration of the current resting periods, whereby an employee that can work over 10 hours must rest between 1 to 2 hours, and cannot work for more than 6 consecutive hours, unlike the current legal limit of 5 hours. Furthermore, to further stimulate and implement the organization of the work time, the Commitment accrues alterations in the regime established for overtime which will necessarily have to be adapted and implemented within the 1st quarter of 2012, namely:

Withdrawal of the compensatory resting periods; Cut in the amounts paid as overtime compensation – 25% in the 1st hour or fraction of hour and...

To continue reading