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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure PT-2020-11/320 Updated – measures in Portugal

Exceptional regime suspending overtime limits

Regime excecional suspendendo os limites do trabalho extraordinário

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 14 March 2020 – 01 October 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Ensuring business continuity and support for essential services
– Change of work arrangements (working time, rota schemes)
Author Heloisa Perista and Maria da Paz Campos Lima (CESIS)
Measure added 06 April 2020 (updated 20 April 2023)

Background information

The Decree Law No. 10-A/2020 of 13 March, setting the first exceptional and temporary measures concerning COVID-19 pandemic, established in article 6, paragraph 1, an exceptional regime suspending overtime limits - defined by paragraphs 2 and 3 of article 120 of the General Law of Labor in Public Functions (approved in annex to Law No. 35/2014), in its current wording, as well as the limits provided for in the paragraphs 1 to 3 of article 228 of Labour Code (Law no. 7/2009), in its current wording.

Content of measure

This measure applies to all bodies, agencies and other entities of Ministry of Health, of security services, of the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority, of the Hospital of Armed Forces (HFAR), of the Military Chemical and Pharmaceutical Laboratory (LMPQF), of the Institute of Social Action of the Armed Forces, I. P. (IASFA, I. P.), of the Directorate-General for Reintegration and Prison Services (DGRSP) and the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, I. P.(INMLCF, I. P.). Under this measure overtime limits set by legislation and collective agreements (concerning public sector employees) are suspended in activities essential to tackle the pandemic crisis, during the state of emergency.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

30 September 2022

This measure was discontinued with the implementation of the Decree-Law 66A/2022, on 30 September

Use of measure

Not evaluated yet.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Other groups of workers
Workers in essential services
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Local / regional government
Public support service providers
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


Social partners were only informed. They did not participate in the design of the measure or in its implementation, as it was the case for other measures under the state of emergency.

Views and reactions

Employer and trade union confederations were informed at the tripartite Standing Committee for Social Concertation. The critical situation of the state of emergency and the lack of resources in the Health sector to tackle the pandemic crisis contributed to moderate any possible negative reactions.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      O - Public Administration And Defence; Compulsory Social Security O84 Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
      Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities Q86 Human health activities

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 13 March 2020: Decreto-Lei n.º 10-A/2020, Diário da República n.º 52/2020, 1º Suplemento, Série I de 2020-03-1 (
  • 06 April 2020: Decreto -Lei n.º 12-A/2020 de 6 de abril (
  • 07 May 2020: Decreto-Lei n.º 20-C/2020 (
  • 16 May 2020: Decreto-Lei n.º 22/202 (
  • 29 May 2020: Decreto-Lei n.º 24-A/2020 (
  • 29 September 2020: Decreto-Lei n.º 78-A/2020 (
  • 30 December 2020: Decreto-Lei nº 106-A/2020 (
  • 29 September 2021: Decreto-Lei n.º 78-A/2021 (
  • 22 October 2021: Decreto-Lei n.º 10-A/2020 consolidad (
  • 30 September 2022: Decree Law 66A/2022 of 30 September (


Eurofound (2020), Exceptional regime suspending overtime limits , measure PT-2020-11/320 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.