Further to a few relevant changes to the Employment Code itself, now it’s the time for the employment proceedings to be adjusted in line with the Civil Proceedings Code.
Some of the major changes were relate to timeframes which in general tend to be extended making the rules more similar to the general Civil Proceedings’ Code.
The new regime entered into force on 9th October.
JUST A FEW CHANGES IN TIMEFRAMES
- The time that the petitioner (generaly the employee) has to reply to defense (generaly of the employer), now of 15 days as a general rule, when before there was only the possibility to reply within 10 days after defense.
- Also in the sepcific court procedure to claim against dismissal – which starts by a digital or paper application filled by the employee then followed by the petition written by the employee justifying dismissal; in case the employee replies with a defense, the employer can now reply to the employee’s defense if the employee has made a claim / reconvention – or in other words – if the employee has made a claim in his defense, then the employer is entitled to reply to this pleading. The time frame is of 15 days to do so.
In case of appeal, the timeframe to file the application including allegations, is now of 30 days, when before it was of 20 days only. Currently only for urgent proceedings the timeframe of 20 days is maintained for apeals to be filed of court decisions.
In relation to witnesses the general rule is still of a 10 total number of witnesses per claim, but now there is a reduction by half of this limit in case of court cases where the value of the claim is lower than € 5,000.
The new rule about court hearings is now that also in line with civil proceedings’ rules the court hearing must be recorded.
Finally regarding the court prelimiary hearing designated as “audiência de partes” in the specific process against dismissal, the news is that the employer is now allowed to justify its absense and this way have another opportunity to be present and this way try to reach a settlement in the process at this stage.
9th October 2019
Cláudia Vaz Póvoa