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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-2020-48/1722 Updated – measures in Portugal

Exceptional and temporary regime of justified absences to family care

Regime excecional e temporário de faltas justificadas para assistência à família motivadas por assistência à família.

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 28 November 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Protection of vulnerable groups (beyond employment support)
Author Heloisa Perista and Maria da Paz Campos Lima (CESIS)
Measure added 17 January 2021 (updated 20 July 2021)

Background information

Given the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Decree-Law 101-A/2020 of 27 November 2020 makes the first amendment to Decree-Law 10-K/2020 of 26 March 2020 that establishes an exceptional and temporary regime to justified absences related to family care in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

Content of measure

Article 2-A of Decree-Law 10-K/2020 is added as follows:

It is considered as justified the absences due to assistance to a child or other dependent under 12 years old or, regardless of age, with disability or chronic disease, as well as to a grandchild living with the worker in the same household and who is the child of a teenager aged up to 16 years old related to the suspension of teaching and non-teaching and formative activities, in the terms of n.º 1 and 4 of article 22 of Decree 9/2020 of 21 November (regulating the state of emergency between 30 November and 7 December).

The worker may also, in alternative, book holidays, with no need of agreement with the employer, to give assistance to a child.


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

22 January 2021

The Decree-Law 8-B/2021, of 22 January, creates an exceptional and temporary scheme for justified absences for family reasons arising from school suspensions and interruptions, in the context of COVID-19.

Article 2 defines that absences from work shall be considered as justified, without loss of rights, except as regards remuneration, when it is due to urgent assistance to a child or other dependent under the age of 12, or, regardless of age, with a disability or chronic illness, resulting from suspension of teaching and non-teaching activities in a school establishment or social equipment of early childhood support or disability, as determined by legislation or administrative procedures from a governmental source.

Absences provided for in this article shall not count towards the annual limit provided for in articles 49, 50 and 252 of the Labour Code, approved by Law 7/2009, of 12 February, in its current wording.

Use of measure

Workers who used the measure between March and June 2020:

179,405 employees, of which 81.3% were female employees. Average number of days: 19; 18,879 independent workers, of which 77.1% were female independent workers. Average number of days: 20; *2,365 domestic workers, of which 99.5% were female domestic workers. Average number of days: 21.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Other groups of workers
Parents in employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
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:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


The social partners were informed at the Standing Committee of Social Concertation.

Views and reactions



  • 06 April 2020: COVID-19 | Informação relativa a famílias e empresas no âmbito do MTSS
  • 27 November 2020: Decreto-Lei n.º 101-A/2020 de 27 de novembro (
  • 22 January 2021: Decreto-Lei n.º 8-B/2021 (


Eurofound (2021), Exceptional and temporary regime of justified absences to family care, measure PT-2020-48/1722 (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.