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Factsheet for measure PT-2021-11/1849 – measures in Portugal

Exceptional suspension of deadlines associated with survival and expiry of collective agreements

Suspensão excecional de prazos associados à sobrevigência e caducidade de convenção coletiva de trabalh

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 09 March 2021 – 09 March 2023
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Other
Author Maria da Paz Campos Lima (CESIS)
Measure added 12 April 2021 (updated 10 May 2021)

Background information

The Law no. 11/2021 of 9 March 2021 suspends exceptionally the deadlines associated with the survival and expiry of collective agreements for a period of 24 months. In the text send by for the consultation of the social partners, the government indicates [SRC.PT/3546] that the measure is intended to prevent unilateral decisions aimed at the expiry of collective agreements, taking into account the following arguments:

  • The negative impact of COVID-19 disease pandemic in collective bargaining: in the 2nd quarter there was an abrupt year-on-year decrease in both the number of published agreements (-62%) and the number of workers potentially covered by them (-72%), a trend that was maintained in the months of July and September, with decreases of 30% of published agreements and 73% of workers covered. Overall, in 2020, were published 118 collective agreements (-34% than in 2019) with 336,694 workers potentially covered (-49% than in 2019).
  • The unequivocally high exposure of collective bargaining to uncertainty and unpredictable evolution of the pandemic and its economic and social effects; and the fact that the retraction of confidence and perspectives of economic actors often translates into a lesser propensity for negotiation and renewal, which can also lead to an increase of unilateral decisions on the expiry of collective agreements.

Content of measure

The Law no. 11/2021 of 9 March 2021 suspends exceptionally, for a period of 24 months, the deadlines - provided for in article 501 of the Labour Code, approved by Law no. 7/2009, of 12 February - concerning the survival of collective agreements. It applies to:

  • Survival periods following the termination of a collective agreement carried out after the entry into force of this law;
  • Ongoing survival periods, following the termination of a collective agreement carried out on a date prior to the entry into force of this law.

The Law applies to collective bargaining in the private sector and in public owned companies but not in public administration.

Use of measure

All salaried workers and companies in the private sector and public owned companies.

Target groups

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

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social partners jointly
Trade unions
Employers' organisations
Company / Companies
No special funding required

Social partners

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

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

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

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

Involvement

The proposed measure was foreseen by the Council of Ministers of 8 October and announced on 13 October in the context of parliamentary debate of the state budget proposal for 2021. On 15 October, the government presented a document about the state budget proposal at the Standing Committee for Social Concertation (CPCS) which included the proposed measure. Later, the government called a specific meeting of the CPCS to take place on 30 October to discuss the measure with social partners, asking them to provide a written opinion on the proposed measure [SRC.PT/3546] until the 3th of November. On the 5th of November the Council of the Ministers announced the proposal of law - Bill 63/XIV - that was submitted to the discussion and approval by the parliament. Following this, social partners had the possibility to express directly their views about the Bill 63/XIV in the subsequent public period of consultation (30 days according to Labour Code Articles 469 to 475). The Bill was approved by the Parliament on 29 January 2021.

Views and reactions

  • The employer confederations CIP, CAP, CCP and CTP [SRC.PT/3557; SRC.PT/3559; SRC.PT/3561; SRC.PT/3562] expressed their disagreement with the limited time and procedure of consultation in the context of the tripartite Standing Committee for Social Concertation (CPCS) - arguing it did not gave room enough for a real exchange of views - and expressed their strong disagreement with the content of the measure.
  • The trade union confederation UGT [SRC.PT/3560] agreed with the content of proposed measure - tough claiming both the suspension of the deadlines of survival and expiry of collective agreements. Also UGT highlighted that the consultation procedure did not favor a real social dialogue.
  • The trade union confederation CGTP [SRC.PT/3553] stressed that what would be appropriate would be the revocation of the Labour Code rules allowing unilateral expiry of collective agreements. CGTP claims the reinstatement of the fundamental collective bargaining rights, which implies the revocation of the rules that weakened this right, namely those regarding the expiry of agreements, and claims the reinstatement of the principle of more favorable treatment for the worker; and asked the guarantee that the Government does not publish any notice of termination agreements, until these rights are reestablished.

Sources

  • 30 October 2020: Consulta do Governo aos Parceiros Sociais - Suspensão dos prazos de sobrevigência que conduzem à caducidade (app.parlamento.pt)
  • 03 November 2020: CGTP_Consulta aos Parceiros Sociais - Suspensão dos prazos de sobrevigência que conduzem à Caducidade - Posição da CGTP (app.parlamento.pt)
  • 03 November 2020: CAP_Consulta aos Parceiros Sociais - Suspensão dos prazos de sobrevigência - Posição da CAP (app.parlamento.pt)
  • 03 November 2020: UGT_Consulta aos Parceiros Sociais - Suspensão dos prazos de sobrevigência - Posição da UGT (app.parlamento.pt)
  • 03 November 2020: CCP_Consulta aos Parceiros SociaisConsulta aos Parceiros Sociais - Suspensão dos prazos de sobrevigência que conduzem à Caducidade - Posição da CC (app.parlamento.pt)
  • 03 November 2020: CTP_Consulta aos Parceiros Sociais - Suspensão dos prazos de sobrevigência que conduzem à Caducidade - Posição da CT (app.parlamento.pt)
  • 04 December 2020: CIP_Consulta aos Parceiros Sociais - Suspensão dos prazos de sobrevigência - Posição da CIP (app.parlamento.pt)
  • 09 March 2021: Lei n.º 11/2021 (dre.pt)

Citation

Eurofound (2021), Exceptional suspension of deadlines associated with survival and expiry of collective agreements, measure PT-2021-11/1849 (measures in Portugal), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/PT-2021-11_1849.html

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