After a long period of great discussion, debate and analysis of the new changes to the Employment Code, the Law 93/2019 was published on 4th September further to the approval by the President of the Republic.
This is an important review of a few of the core areas of the Code including fixed term contracts’ regime, very short term contracts, probationary period for long term contracts, working hours’ regime.
In respect of the fixed term contracts’ regime, the new rules determine that the contracts as a whole including renewals have a total limit of 2 years’ duration. This being said, the renewals are also limited to the duration of the first fixed term contract signed which limits the whole duration of the contract.
The possibility of signing a fixed term contract due to the start of activity of business, is now applicable during a period of 2 years after such fact;on the restrictive side of the regime, now this reason is limited to companies holding up to 250 employees (before it was applicable to companies holding up to 750 employees).
All contracts being of services, fixed term, temporary or other for the same job position under the same employer’s structure (even if through different companies) will be considered for the purposes of the limit of 2 years’ contract duration as a whole.
Another crucial change on the flexibility side of the measures is the possibility of employers working in the agricultural sector and hotel industry, to hire employees under the regime of the very short term contracts.
This regime makes it possible for employers to hire without a proper written contract just filling in a form to be sent to social security services. The limit is that those contracts can only be used in case of exceptional increase of activity of the employer and up to 35 days each, in a maximum of 70 days of contracts in a civil year per employee.
Also on the flexibility side of the measures approved there is the probationary period, since 180 days’ probation will continue to apply to long terms contracts in situation of employees hired for high trust and confidence jobs or due to high qualification, complexity or responsibilty reasons, but now also for employees seeking first employment and also in case of unemployment of long duration.
The changes should now enter into force 1st October 2019 and may have still to be adapted due to the revision which will be operated in due course by the Constitutional Court.
4th September 2019
Cláudia Vaz Póvoa
Employment Department : cpovoa@edge-ilcom