Eighty thousand companies forced to integrate 350,000 precarious workers


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ACT notifies employers today that they have until September 10 to regularize. Defaulters risk fines of up to €61,200.

The Authority for Working Conditions (ACT) today sends notifications to 80,000 companies that have 350,000 precarious workers outside the law, with guidelines for them to convert those fixed-term contracts into permanent bonds until September 10, revealed to Portugal news / Dinheiro Vivo the Minister of Labor, Ana Mendes Godinho. After that deadline, employers who remain irregular “will be subject to inspection actions and possible sanctioning measures”, he warned. Fines can reach 61 200 euros.

According to the governor, the 80,000 companies targeted “represent 8.8% of the total of those that are active in Social Security, that is, that have workers”, indicated the Minister of Labor. Asked about the sectors that will be most in default, Ana Mendes Godinho said that “the notifications were for companies in all areas”, adding that, “later, it will be possible to obtain concrete information on the number of companies by activity”.

19 % irregular

The 350,000 employees with irregular contracts “correspond to 19% of the workers employed in Portugal”, said the minister. “Through the emblematic measure, included in the Decent Work Agenda, which allows the interconnection of data between ACT and Social Security, it was possible to identify situations in which the maximum terms of fixed-term contracts had already been exceeded”, explained the minister. In this sense, and within the scope of “combating precariousness, ACT will promote a massive regularization of employment contracts quickly and effectively”, stressed the minister.

In the communication that the Authority for Working Conditions will send to companies, there will be “a list of all workers whose contracts have already exceeded the legal limits and which should be converted to permanent”, he detailed. “To do this, employers must go to the Direct Social Security website and rectify the type of link”, he explained, stressing that “this is the first major inspection action in Portugal”. “It is the Decent Work Agenda on the ground to promote decent employment and combat precariousness”, reinforced Ana Mendes Godinho.

The minister warned that “after September 10, ACT will check whether companies have regularized all the situations identified and even whether there were workers who, in the meantime, were no longer included in the communications to Social Security”, which may indicate an illegal dismissal.

Uncertain term

Since 2019, fixed-term employment contracts cannot last more than four years, whereas before the maximum period was six years.


Fixed-term contracts are limited to two years, whereas before they were up to three years, and can be renewed three times. The measure has been in force since 2019.

The amendments to the Labor Code provide for the interconnection of data between ACT, the Social Security Institute and the Tax and Customs Authority.

Temporary work

The new rules prevent temporary work agencies from concluding successive contracts with the same employee for more than four years. Once this limit is exceeded, the worker becomes a permanent employee.

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