Portugal has made it illegal for bosses to call employees after office hours
Work from home has helped save commute time but it has also brought in extended working hours, calls from bosses after office hours and more fatigue. To beat the diminishing work-life balance, Portugal wants to make it illegal for bosses to call their employees outside of their official hours.
In first of its kind, Portugal government has issued labour laws for digital workers which offer protections to workers. One of the main laws states that if any employer calls workers outside of office hours, the company will have to pay monetary fine.
"We consider Portugal one of the best places in the world for these digital nomads and remote workers to choose to live in, we want to attract them to Portugal," Ana Mendes Godinho, Portugal's Minister of Labour and Social Security, said at the recent Web Summit conference in Lisbon. "The pandemic has accelerated the need to regulate what needs to be regulated."
The laws have also urged companies to pay for the expenses an employee bears while working from home such as electricity and Wi-Fi charges.
While some laws were approved, there were a few that did not see the daylight. Laws such as ‘right to disconnect’, the right to switch off all work devices and messaging services after work hours was not approved by lawmakers.
Experts believe that while there are benefits of working from home, there needs to be proper regulations that can help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance. The new rules are a direct response to the rising trend of work-from-home culture all over the world.
Portugal also hopes that this will attract people from other countries to find employment in the country, especially during the pandemic years.