Lei n.º 7/2009

Publicação: Diário da República n.º 30/2009, Série I de 2009-02-12
  • Emissor:Assembleia da República
  • Tipo de Diploma:Lei
  • Número:7/2009
  • Páginas:926 - 1029
  • ELI:https://data.dre.pt/eli/lei/7/2009/02/12/p/dre/pt/html
Versão pdf: Descarregar

Summary in plain english (Without legal value)

What is it?

This law approves the Labour Code, that is, the diploma which governs the labour relationships between the employer and the employee.

This diploma governs the following matters within a labour context, among others:

    • Employment contract;
    • Type of employees;
    • Preparation of the employment contract;
    • Modalities of the employment contract;
    • Workplace and period;
    • Employees’ parental leaves, absences and holidays;
    • Payment;
    • Termination of the employment contract;
    • Collective representation of employees;

Employment contract

It is an agreement between the employer and the employee. The latter undertakes to provide an activity under the authority of the employer, in return for a payment.

The employer holds authority (to give orders) and disciplinary powers (to apply disciplinary sanctions) over the employee.

Type of employees

There are certain types of employees which, due to their specific characteristics, are subject to particular rules regarding their labour activity, such as:

    • Minor employee;
    • Student employee;
    • Employee with a disability or chronic disease.

Preparation of the employment contract

The employer must always inform the employee of the relevant aspects of the contract, namely: workplace and workload, employee’s category, salary, among others.

At the beginning of the contract’s execution, there may be a trial period for both parties to assess the interest in maintaining the employment contract.

The duration of this period varies according to the type of employment contract.

Modalities of the employment contract

There are several types of employment contracts, among which we highlight the following:

    • Fixed-term employment contract;
    • Permanent employment contract;
    • Part-time employment contract;
    • Temporary employment contract;
    • Intermittent employment;
    • Telework;
    • Employment contract with a service fee.

Workplace and period

The employee will, as a rule, exercise their activity on the location initially agreed with the employer. The workplace transfer may occur upon request by the employee or if needed by the employer.

The work period is the period in which the employee provides the activity, including the resting intervals.

The normal work period cannot exceed eight hours per day and forty hours per week. However, there are some exceptions, among which we highlight:

    • Concentrated work;
    • Exemption from working schedule;
    • Additional work.

Regarding the working hours, there are employees who may exercise their activity at night-time or in shifts.

Employees’ parental leaves, absences and holidays

Regarding the parental leaves, the employee is entitled to a leave due to the birth of a child, adoption leave, leave for the assistance of a disabled child, leave due to termination of pregnancy or clinical risk, among others.

In each year, the employee is entitled to a minimum period of 22 days of holidays, which must be scheduled upon agreement with the employer.

There are special cases in which the duration is different, for instance the year in which the employee joins the company.

If the employee is absent from the location where the activity should be exercised, it is deemed as an absence.

The absences may be:

    • Justified (due to a marriage or disease, for instance);
    • Unjustified (which determine the loss of the payment).


The remuneration is the amount to which the employee is entitled for his/her work.

The employee is also entitled to a Christmas and holiday allowance. To all employees is ensured a minimum monthly payment, which is annually updated.

Termination of the employment contract

The employment contract may be terminated by an agreement between the employer and the employee, by the initiative of, solely, the employee or employer, due to the end of the contract’s term or because the employee motivated his/her own dismissal.

Besides a dismissal, the employment contract may be terminated due to:

    • Expiration;
    • Revocation;
    • Denunciation;
    • Termination.

Among the dismissal modalities, the following are highlight:

    • Dismissal with fault attributable to the employee;
    • Collective dismissal;
    • Dismissal due to unsuitability;
    • Dismissal due to the extinction of the job position.

The dismissal without a just cause is prohibited.

If a fault is attributable to the employee and it may lead to the dismissal with a just cause (non-compliance with the duties, insubordination or unjustified absences, for instance), a disciplinary procedure is applied to the employee.

With the termination of the employment contract, the employee may be entitled to the payment of a monetary compensation.

Collective representation of employees

The employees may organize, between them, collective representation structures in order to better defend their rights and interests, for instance employees committees.

The committee’s number of members varies according to the company’s size and any employee is entitled to participate in the committee.

This text is intended to present the content of the legal act in accessible, plain and understandable language for citizens. The summary of the legal act in plain language has no legal value and does not replace the consultation of the legal act in the Diário da República.