In Portugal, it is now illegal for your boss to call after hours

The country recently introduced a law that prohibits employers from communicating with workers outside of their normal hours by phone, message or email.

“The employer must respect the privacy of the worker,” including rest periods and family time, the new law stipulates. Any violation, it continues, constitutes a “serious” crime and could result in a fine.

A similar rule gave the French workers the right to ignore after-hours business emails in 2017.

Portugal’s new policy is part of the legislation that regulates working from home. Employees now have the right to opt out of remote work if they wish, but can also request the agreement if it is compatible with their work.

The measure also stipulates that employers are responsible for providing workers with the proper tools to perform their jobs. remote form. They must reimburse workers for any additional expenses, including any increase in bills, such as electricity and gas, that they may incur while working from home.

The law was approved by the Portuguese parliament last Friday and entered into force the following day.

Portugal has been run by a socialist government for six years, although Prime Minister Antonio Costa could be ousted from power early next year. The country’s president recently called snap elections for late January amid a clash over the budget.

The capital Lisbon has worked hard to attract digital nomads who want to take advantage of remote work to temporarily relocate or travel outside of their country of origin.

The practice became more common during the pandemic. Research firm Gartner estimates that remote workers will represent 32% of the global workforce by the end of 2021, compared to 17% in 2019.

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