Work and Wages

Minimum Wage

Both the Constitution and Labour Code provide for a minimum wage. It is usually updated annually by specific legislation following consultation with the social partners. The value of minimum wage is determined in consultation with the Committee for the Social Consultation of The Social and Economic Council, which is a tripartite body.

In accordance with the Constitution, State is charged with the responsibility to set and update a national minimum wage which, among other factors, has particular regard to workers’ needs, increases in the cost of living, the level to which the sectors of production have developed, the requirements imposed by economic and financial stability, and the accumulation of capital for development purposes. Similar provisions are found in article 273(2) of the Labour Code.

Workers cannot be paid lower than the minimum wage which is the lowest remuneration that an employer should pay to the employee.

Minimum wage may also be set through collective bargaining however these wages cannot be less than the minimum wage announced by the government.

There is no specific minimum wage for different occupation, sector or region. However, Labour Code allows for reduction in wages for assistants, apprentices and trainees (20% less than minimum wage) for a maximum period of one year. A worker with reduced capacity (due to a disability) is also eligible for a reduced minimum wage. The reduction depends on the difference between full capacity for work and the coefficient of effective capacity for the work the worker was hired for, if the difference is more than 10% up to a maximum limit of 50%.

Non-payment of minimum wages is considered a very serious offence and a fine can be imposed. Compliance with Labour Code provisions including those on the minimum wage is the responsibility of Labour Inspectorate. The amount of fine depends on the enterprise’s turnover and the degree of offence perpetrated.

Source: §273-275 and 554-555 of Labour Code 2009; §59(2) of the Portuguese Constitution; §9 of the Act No. 108/91 of 17 August 1991 on Economic and Social Council; Law Decree 143/2010 stating the new amount for minimum wage beginning the year 2011

Regular Pay

The wage payment can be made weekly, fortnightly, or on a monthly basis. However, the payment should be made on working days, during work time or immediately after thereafter, in the place where the employee works. Wages may also be paid in kind however the total value of in-kind benefits may not exceed 50% of the minimum wage.

Wages are paid in cash during working hours by cheque, money order or deposit the worker's order at the workplace or any other mutually agreed place.

Source: §274-278 of Labour Code 2009

Regulations on Work and Wages

  • Código do Trabalho Lei No. 7/2009 / Labour Code 2009 (Law No. 7/2009), amended in 2017
  • Constituição da República Portuguesa 2005 / Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (2005 version)
  • Lei Do Conselho Económico E Social N.° 108/91, de 17 de Agosto / Act No. 108/91 of 17 August 1991 on Economic and Social Council
  • Decreto-Lei n.º 143/2010 Actualiza o valor da retribuição mínima mensal garantida para 2011 / Law Decree 143/2010 stating the new amount for minimum wage beginning the year 2011

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