This Saturday two new legal diplomas were published related to the epidemiological situation in the country. Both have an impact at a labor level, namely in relation to telework.

The diplomas in question are Council of Ministers Resolution no. 157/2021 and Decree-Law no. 104/2021, both of 27 November.

The evolution of the epidemiological situation in Portugal and in the other Member States of the European Union, has shown an upward trajectory in terms of the number of new daily cases of the disease COVID-19, which is currently occurring, similarly, a strong growth in the incidence rate and transmission index of the SARS -CoV -2 virus, which justifies the adoption of extra care and measures, in relation to those that were in force.

Impacting the companies’ organization of work, were published the main following measures:

  • Declaration of Calamity until 23:59 h of March 20, 2022, throughout the continental national territory;
  • As of December 1, 2021, the adoption of the telework regime is recommended whenever the functions in question allow it, throughout the continental national territory;
  • The exceptional and transitory regime for the reorganization of work and the minimization of the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 disease infection within the scope of labor relations is extended until March 31, 2022.

Thus, for example, in workplaces located in territorial areas where the epidemiological situation justifies it, defined by the Government by resolution of the Council of Ministers, as well as in municipalities considered by the General Directorate of Health (DGS) as being of high, very high risk and extreme, the employer must organize the hours of entry and exit from the workplace in an out-of-phase manner, guaranteeing minimum intervals of thirty minutes up to a limit of one hour between groups of workers;

  • Suspension, between January 2 and 9, 2022, of classroom, non-teaching and training activities.

With some exceptions, the law establishes the suspension of:

  • Educational and teaching activities of public, private and cooperative teaching establishments and of the solidarity sector, pre-school education and basic and secondary education;
  • Early childhood support activities at day care centers, family day care centers and childminders, social support activities carried out in an activities and training center for inclusion, and leisure activities center;
  • Teaching and non-teaching activities of higher education institutions, without prejudice to the evaluation periods in progress.
  • Absences from work motivated by urgent assistance to a child or other dependent under 12 years of age, or, regardless of age, with a disability or chronic illness, resulting from suspension of classroom activities and non-teaching activities are justified;
  • Between the 2nd and 9th of January 2022, the adoption of the teleworking regime will be mandatory — whenever the functions in question allow it and the worker has the conditions to exercise them — in all municipalities of the mainland national territory;
  • Extension of the extraordinary income support for workers until the last day of February 2022.