Employees can expect generous beenfits in the form of maternity and paternity benefits, family care leave, special childcare leave, adoption leave and leave for personal reasons.
New mothers can expect excellent benefits in Portugal. Female employees are entitled to 120 consecutive days' leave, 90 of which must be taken after giving birth, while the remainder may be taken totally or in part either before or after the birth. In the event of multiple births this period is increased by 30 days for each baby in addition to the first.
It is mandatory to take at least six weeks' maternity leave after giving birth. Should the mother or child be hospitalised during the period of leave after the birth, this period is suspended at the mother's request for the duration of hospitalisation.
Female employees are granted maternity leave for a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 30 days in the event of a miscarriage. Mothers may not work eight weeks before and after a birth i.e. there is a paid maternity leave for 16 weeks at 100% pay. Parents are also entitled to take up to two years' parental leave or can opt for reduced hours, subject to employer's agreement until the child is four. Leave can be transferred once between parents. A state funded flat-rate allowance is available during parental leave.
Fathers are also entitled to five consecutive or separate working days' paternity leave, which must be taken during the first month following the birth of their child.
Apart from the public and bank holidays, all employees are entitled to a minimum of 22 days of paid annual leave. Entitlement to annual leave cannot be replaced by any other compensation; it is acquired by entering into a contract of employment and falls due on 1 January of each calendar year.
The maximum legal working week is 40 hours. The working day however may be quite long, as it is common to include an extended lunch break or siesta. In addition to the public holidays and annual leave, employees can take a further 15 days off per year to provide urgent and essential care to members of their household in tcase of illness or accident. For parents and adoptive parents of children up to six years of age, there's more holidays in store - the father and mother are entitled alternatively to: three months’ parental leave; to work part-time for 12 months. When these entitlements expire, the father or mother is entitled to special childcare leave for a maximum of two years. Childcare leave is also available for parents who need to care for a minor who is ill. Such leave is limited to 30 days per year or is unlimited in the case of hospitalisation.
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