European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

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-2020-14/316 Updated – measures in Portugal

Exceptional suspension of termination of employment contracts in NationalExceptional suspension of termination of employment in Health Servic

Suspensão excecional da cessação de contratos de trabalho no Serviço Nacional de Saúde

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 2 April, which renewed the state of emergency concerning COVID-19 pandemic (declared on 18 March 2020), established in article 29 measures applying to the National Health Service suspending the termination of any employment contracts (open ended or fixed term) as well as of contracts for the provision of services with independent workers, and extends any kind of term contracts, during the state of emergency

Content of measure

The measure suspends, temporarily and exceptionally, the possibility of terminating the employment contracts of professionals linked to services and establishments integrated in the National Health Service, regardless of the legal nature of the employment relationship, either at the initiative of the employer or by initiative of the worker, except in exceptional situations duly substantiated and authorized by the governing body.

The provisions of the preceding paragraph also apply to the termination of individual contract and termination of employment contracts in public functions. Fixed-term employment contracts, whose expiry should operate in this period are considered automatically and exceptionally extended until the end of the state of emergency and possibly renewed. While the declaration of a state of emergency is in force, the possibility of terminating service provision contracts is also suspended, temporarily and exceptionally.

Updates

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

14 January 2021

The Decree no. 3-A / 2021 of 14 January that regulates the 'state of emergency decreed by the President of the Republic establishes a rule on the 'Exceptional suspension of termination of employment contracts' Article 9 determines that during the period of validity of the 'state of emergency', the possibility of terminating contracts is temporarily and exceptionally suspended due to imperative service needs, relation to health professionals linked to services and establishments integrated in the National Health Service (SNS), regardless of the legal nature of the employment relationship, either by initiative of the employer, either on the initiative of the worker.

Use of measure

The Decree no. 3-A / 2021 of 14 January 2021 that regulates the 'state of emergency decreed by the President of the Republic establishes a rule on the 'Exceptional suspension of termination of employment contracts' Article 9 determines that during the period of validity of the 'state of emergency', the possibility of terminating contracts is temporarily and exceptionally suspended due to imperative service needs, relation to health professionals linked to services and establishments integrated in the National Health Service (SNS), regardless of the legal nature of the employment relationship, either by initiative of the employer, either on the initiative of the worker

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Self-employed
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

Involvement

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

Views and reactions

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

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      Q - Human Health And Social Work Activities Q86 Human health activities

This case is not occupation-specific.

Sources

  • 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 (dre.pt)
  • 02 April 2020: Decreto n.º 2-B/2020, Diário da República n.º 66/2020, 2º Suplemento, Série I de 2020-04-02 (dre.pt)
  • 01 May 2020: Decreto-Lei n.º 20/2020 de 1 de Maio (dre.pt)
  • 07 May 2020: Decreto-Lei n.º 20-C/202 (dre.pt)
  • 16 May 2020: Decreto-Lei n.º 22/202 (dre.pt)
  • 29 May 2020: Decreto-Lei n.º 24-A/2020 (data.dre.pt)
  • 29 September 2020: Decreto-Lei n.º 78-A/2020 (data.dre.pt)
  • 30 December 2020: Decreto-Lei nº 106-A/2020 (dre.pt)
  • 14 January 2021: Decreto n.º 3-A/2021 (dre.pt)
  • 29 September 2021: Decreto-Lei n.º 78-A/2021 (data.dre.pt)
  • 22 October 2021: Decreto-Lei n.º 10-A/2020 consolidad (dre.pt)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Exceptional suspension of termination of employment contracts in NationalExceptional suspension of termination of employment in Health Servic, measure PT-2020-14/316 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/PT-2020-14_316.html

Share

Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

19 May 2022

 

Working life in the COVID-19 pandemic 2021

This publication consists of individual country reports on working life during 2021 for 28 countries (the 27 EU Member States and Norway).

Publication

24 June 2020

 

COVID-19: Policy responses across Europe

This report aims to present an overview of both large-scale government measures and collective agreements that impact on large groups of workers.

16 June 2022

 

COVID-19 in the workplace: Employer's responsibility to ensure a safe workplace

Throughout 2021, the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, specific occupational health and safety rules were reintroduced due to increases in infection rates.

Article

16 June 2022

 

Back to work after COVID-19: Testing, vaccines and green certificates

In the second pandemic year 2021, access to one's place of work was increasingly dependent on providing proof of either having been tested, vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in several countries.

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