Portugal to encourage part-time work for families with infants up to 12 months of age

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This measure is part of the Decent Work Agenda, a plan that began to be implemented in the country in April.

After maternity or paternity leave, Portuguese parents will be able to take up to 180 days of additional part-time leave per year, or 90 days each. In addition to the salary for the hours worked, the baby’s parents will be able to receive 20 per cent of the pay through the Portuguese social security system, sources at the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security told the newspaper Público. The measure is expected to take effect next week and will also affect parental leave already in progress.

Thus, Lisbon extends the facilities for parents, who until now could apply for the part-time regime until the newborn reaches the age of one, but without any support from the State. However, the Government has not yet specified whether employers will be obliged to accept this new modality.

The measure is part of the new law on decent work, which includes numerous benefits for parents. Among others, the remuneration will be increased from 25% to 30% for those who request a leave of absence of more than three months. These increases will also apply to other types of parental leave in the first months of a newborn child’s life.

The decent work agenda is a set of about 70 measures published by the Portuguese Socialist Executive, aimed at putting an end to the precariousness that the country has been suffering, especially since the intervention of the Troika. One of its key objectives is to improve the working conditions of young people, facilitating the reconciliation of personal, family and professional life. In particular, the recent changes in the area of paternity give a twist to the orientation of measures to promote the birth rate, so that family responsibilities are shared more equally between men and women.

Another of the most striking measures was the possibility of requesting medical leave remotely, without the need to go to a doctor’s office. Since April, workers have been able to do so by telephone, with a limit of two periods per year of three days each.

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