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for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

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in the development of better social, employment and
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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

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-2020-14/312 – measures in Portugal

Reinforcement of resources and powers of the authority for working conditions (ACT)

Reforço dos meios e poderes da Autoridade para as Condições de Trabalho (ACT)

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 03 April 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Flexibilisation and security
Author Heloisa Perista and Maria da Paz Campos Lima (CESIS) and Eurofound
Measure added 06 April 2020 (updated 31 May 2021)

Background information

Decree Law No. 2-B/2020 of 02 April, which renewed the state of emergency concerning COVID-19 pandemic (declared on 18 March 2020), established in article 24 the reinforcement of resources and powers of the Authority for Working Conditions. Paragraphs 1 to 3 of Article 24 of the Decree give more power to the Authority for Working Conditions in order to ensure workers' rights and prevent and control illegal dismissals, and notify employers when required to regularize the situation.

Content of measure

Paragraph 1 of Article 24 establishes that, during the term of Decree Law No. 2-B/2020 of 2 April, in order to reinforce the rights and guarantees of workers, whenever the labour inspector verifies the existence of evidence of a dismissal in violation of articles 381, 382, 383 or 384 of the Labour Code (approved by Law no. 7/2009, of February 12), in its current wording, draws up a report and notifies the employer to regularize the situation. Paragraph 2 establishes that after that notification to the employer and until the situation of the worker is regularized or the judicial decision is res judicata, as the case may be, the employment contract in question does not end, maintaining all the rights of the parties, namely the right to remuneration, as well as the inherent obligations under the general social security regime. To this aim the provisions of paragraph 3 speed up the processes of requisition of services and geographical mobility of labour inspectors and of experts of labour inspection and envisages also the recruitment of external services.

Use of measure

Not applicable.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
Company / Companies
Public employment service
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



Views and reactions

Employer and trade union confederations were informed at the tripartite Standing Committee for Social Concertation.


  • 02 April 2020: Decreto n.º 2-B/2020, Diário da República n.º 66/2020, 2º Suplemento, Série I de 2020-04-02 (
  • 17 April 2020: Decreto n.º 2-C/2020 de 17 de abri (
  • 01 May 2020: Decreto-Lei n.º 20/2020 de 1 de Maio (


Eurofound (2020), Reinforcement of resources and powers of the authority for working conditions (ACT), measure PT-2020-14/312 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

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