Portugal makes it illegal for bosses to call employees after work hours

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Portugal passed new labor laws that penalize employers who contact their employees after work hours as more people worldwide started working from home since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the new laws, companies will also be expected to pay expenses to employees who are working from home, including electricity and internet bills, which can be dubbed as business expenses.

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Local Portuguese media reported that the new rules, which were passed by Portugal’s parliament last week, don’t apply to companies who have less than ten employees.

Companies will reportedly face fines for contacting employees outside their working hours and they are also forbidden from monitoring employees who work from home.

Parents in Portugal now have the right to work from home until their child turns eight years old, according to the new rules, local media reported.

In January, Portugal was the first country in Europe to switch to remote working because of the coronavirus outbreak. The country obliged employers to provide employees with tools to work from home, according to reports.

“The pandemic has accelerated the need to regulate what needs to be regulated,” Euro News quoted Portugal’s Minister of Labor and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho, as saying.

“Telework can be a ‘game changer’ if we profit from the advantages and reduce the disadvantages,” she added.

Godinho said: “We consider Portugal one of the best places in the world for these digital nomads and remote workers to choose to live in, we want to attract them to Portugal.”

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