Holidays, Public Holidays, and Absences 

November, 2003 - Sofia Lobo

The issues of holidays, public holidays and absences governed by the provisions of Decree-Law no. 874/76 of 28 December have also been subject to significant changes in the new Labour Code, where they are addressed in Articles 208 to 232, 255 and 259. Where public holidays are concerned, to be noted is the addition of Easter Sunday to the list of compulsory public holidays, in addition to the possibility of certain compulsory public holidays being moved to the Monday of the following week, subject to special laws to this effect coming into force. As regards holidays, the following amendments have been introduced: in the year he/she is admitted, after working for a full six months, the employee is entitled to two business days’ holiday per month he/she has worked, up to a maximum of twenty business days, this rule also applying to the year in which any prolonged impediment of the employee ceases; an increase of up to three business days to the minimum holiday period (twenty-two business days) should the employee never have been absent or of his/her having had a minimum number of justified absences; the possibility of the employee waiving part of his/her holiday, without prejudice to receiving the corresponding pay and holiday bonus and to his/her right to actually take twenty business days’ holidays being protected; in employment contracts of a total duration not attaining six months, the employee will be entitled to two business days’ holidays for each month worked, the holidays being taken immediately before the termination of the contract. As for absences, to be noted is the possibility of the employer promoting, in the case of absences due to illness (even during the holidays), that the situation invoked by the employee be verified by Social Security. Should Social Security not appoint a doctor within twenty-four hours, the employer will be entitled to appoint one for this purpose. If the employee refuses to allow that this verification be made for no plausible reason, his/her absences will be unjustified and any doctor’s certificate presented with the intention to deceive the employer will constitute a false statement for purposes of just cause dismissal . To be noted is the inclusion in the list of justified absences those not exceeding four hours and taken by the employee, once every trimester, for the time strictly necessary to go to his/her minor child’s school to be informed of the child’s progress, those of candidates to public office positions during the election campaigns, and those due to the death of the employee’s common law partner or common economy partner, which has been increased to five consecutive days. Sofia Lobo ([email protected])



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