Portugal restricts companies from contacting employees after office hours

The new rules are a response to the trend of more staff working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several houses have turned into temporary offices due to the work-from-home culture started last year.

Are you used to getting messages or calls after office hours from your boss, piling on more work that seeps into your precious home life and annoys you no end? You have probably been wondering what to do about it, and how to “switch off”.

Portugal is one country which has come up with a solution for this.

The Portuguese parliament has passed new labour laws that aim to attract “digital nomads” to the country but also impose penalties on employers for contacting their staff after work hours.

The new law is meant to provide additional protection to employees who do their job away from company premises, and have come at a time when several houses have turned into temporary offices due to the work-from-home culture started during the COVID pandemic.

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According to media reports, the laws state that employers will have to pay their staffers for increased expenses – such as gas, internet and electricity bills – incurred while working from home; companies should avoid contacting workers outside office hours, except under exceptional circumstances; at least every two months, staff should meet with their superiors to prevent worker isolation, and employees with children will be given the legal protection to work from home until their children turn eight, without having to secure approval from management.

Companies not complying with the rules will be liable for fines.

The new rules are a response to the trend of more staff working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Portugal’s Socialist government was quoted as saying in reports.

A measure that would have granted workers the right to turn off professional communication systems when off work was voted down.

Also read: BAPS lured Indian workers on low wages across US: Report

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