Mobile working regulations in Portugal

1. Is there any legislation relating to working from home in your country?

The regime of teleworking is addressed in the Portuguese labour code.

2. How can working from home be implemented in a company, e.g. through collective bargaining agreements, unilateral decision, or employment contracts?

Initially, by an employment contract or at any moment through mutual agreement. (In this case, the initial duration of the agreement may not exceed three years, or the term established in the CBA).

3. Can an employer force an employee to work from home?

Generally, it is not possible to force an employee to work from home, but as a result of the pandemic, remote work is now mandatory in Portugal.  

4. Can an employee force an employer to allow him to work remotely?

An employee with a child up to three years of age has the right to work from home when this is compatible with the work activity performed and the employer has the resources and means to support the employee.

5. Does an employer have to provide the employee with office equipment and supplies for remote working?

In the absence of an agreement in the employment contract, it is assumed that the employee's professional information and communication technology tools belong to the employer. The employee must observe the rules of use and operation of these tools. Unless otherwise agreed, the employee cannot use tools and instruments made available by the employer for anything else other than those duties inherent to the performance of his work.

6. Does a company have to reimburse an employee for expenses while working from home?

The employer must ensure their installation and maintenance and the payment of related expenses.

7. Does an employer have to grant an employee a specific work-from-home allowance? If so, under what conditions can an employer not pay such an allowance?

No, it is not mandatory to pay a meal allowance in such circumstances unless stated in the CBA.   

8. Is an employer responsible for ensuring proper working conditions from a health and safety perspective for employees who are working remotely?

The teleworker has the same rights and duties as other employees, namely in regard to training, promotion and professional responsibilities; limits on normal working times and other regulations concerning working conditions such as safety and health at work; and compensation for damages arising from work accidents or occupational diseases.

9. Are there any other specific obligations for the employer?

N/A

10. Does an employee need to be insured to work from home?

Yes, the insurance regime is the same for remote work and is applicable to all remaining employees.

Yes, the regime is the same for remote work and is applicable to all remaining employees.

12. Is the employer permitted to charge employee claims for “working-from-home cost reimbursements” against his/her saved expenses (saved expenses could include the employee’s reduced costs for transportation, gasoline, lunches in restaurants and dry-cleaning charge)?

No.

13. Are there any other specific obligations on the employee?

N/A

14. Any other comments?

N/A