3. Working Hours
Despite fixing working hours’ maximum limits, Portuguese labour law sets forth several mechanisms to introduce flexibility in the organization of the employees’ working time.
The Portuguese Labour Law establishes a maximum of 8 daily working hours and 40 weekly working hours. The Collective Bargaining Agreement may fix less working hours per week or day.
Through the Collective Bargaining Agreement or by mutual agreement between employer and employee it is possible to define work period on an average basis, provided that the working hours’ maximum limits are observed on a predefined reference period.
A “Hours’ Bank” regimen can also be introduced by Collective Bargaining Agreement or by agreement between employer and employees.
Night work is defined as the work rendered between 10pm and 7am (Collective Bargaining Agreement may dispose differently).
The work rendered outside the work schedule is considered overtime. Overtime should only be rendered when the company has to meet eventual and temporary increase of work that does not justify new admissions, with the following limits:
(a) 175 or 150 hours per year (depending on the company’s size). The annual limit might be increased to 200 hours per year by Collective Bargaining Agreement;
(b) 2 hours per working day.
Employees may be requested to render overtime in case of force majeure or if necessary to prevent or repair severe damages suffered by the company or for its viability.
Overtime is mandatory for the employee, except when he expressly requests to be excused due to a legitimate reason.
Rendering overtime entitles the employee to an extra pay (vd. 2.1).
Rendering overtime may entitle the employee to paid compensatory rest as follows:
(a) Overtime rendered that barred the full enjoyment of the employee’s daily rest entitles him to a paid compensatory rest equivalent to the hours not enjoyed in the daily rest, to be enjoyed in the following three business days;
(b) Overtime rendered on a mandatory rest day confers the employee the right to a compensatory day rest, to be enjoyed in the following three business days;
(c) Overtime rendered on a mandatory weekly rest day due to unexpected absence of an employee who should occupy the position in the following shift entitles the employee to a paid compensatory rest equivalent to the hours not enjoyed in the daily rest, to be enjoyed in the following three business days.
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