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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-2023-18/3247 – measures in Portugal

Ensuring coverage of outsourced workers by collective agreements

Outsourcing: assegurar a cobertura das convenções colectivas

Country Portugal , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 May 2023
Context Restructuring Support Instruments
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery into a green future
– Flexibilisation and security
Author Maria da Paz Campos Lima (CESIS) and Eurofound.
Measure added 28 June 2023 (updated 11 July 2023)

Background information

The Law No. 13/2023 of 3 April amended the Labour Code and related legislation, within the framework of the Decent Work Agenda. More specifically, it concerns Article 498 A.

The objective of this measure is to prevent outsourcing and secure that outsourced workers have the same rights as all the other workers.

Content of measure

Among the wide range of new measures provided by this amendment (Público, 1 May 2023), Article 498 A extends the provisions of collective agreements to providers of external services.

In case of acquisition of external services for the performance of activities, the collective labour regulation/ collective agreement that binds the beneficiary of the activity is applicable to the service provider, when these conditions are the most favorable for the service provider. For the purposes of this rule a service provider is understood to be the natural person who provides the activities that are the object of the service provision contract.

Law No. 13/2023 applies to all companies in the private sector and adaptations will be considered for the public sector.

Use of measure


Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Workers in non-standard forms of employment
Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
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:

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


The consultation of social partners about the Decent Work Agenda at the Permanent Commission of Social Concentration (CPCS) in 2021 showed significant divergence. The process was interrupted by the general elections, but continued in 2022 with the PS majority government. In view of the persistence of divergence expressed in the CPCS rounds of consultation (11 May and 25 May 2022), the government and the social partners did not reach an agreement. Among other, the proposed new regulations about outsourcing constituted a contentious topic.

Following CPCS rounds, the government proposal of Decent Work Agenda (BiIl 15/XV/I) - including the measure with incidence on outsourcing (498 A) - was subjected to an intense debate. In addition to the tripartite consultation, the social partners expressed individually, in written, their official positions within the context of public discussion of the BiIl 15/XV/I. The debate and alterations at the parliament initiated in September 2022 culminated on 10 February 2023 with the approval of the Law 13/2023, published on 13 April, which came into force on 1 May 2023.

Views and reactions

The National Council of Employer Confederations (CNCP) was very critical of various norms of Law 13/2023. On the other hand, CCP and CIP written individual opinions highlighted that the rules regarding the applicability of collective agreements to outsourced services are not clear enough (CCP, 22 July 2022; CIP, 22 July 2022).

Trade unions confederations have mixed reactions. The measure extending collective agreements to outsourced workers seems positive at a first glance, but CGTP warns about the risks of 'normalising' outsourcing (CGTP, 21 July 2022). UGT welcomes the extension of collective agreements to outsourced workers. Nevertheless, UGT warns about the risks of disaggregation of companies through outsourcing and externalisation strategies (UGT, 22 July 2022).



Eurofound (2023), Ensuring coverage of outsourced workers by collective agreements, measure PT-2023-18/3247 (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.