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Your Boss Can’t Text You After Work In Portugal

Portugal Has Made The Outside Work Hours Message Illegal

Are you working from home and sick of getting messages from your boss - you’ve already answered with a very loud “YES” but there’s more to the question – after work hours? The answer is probably still yes, and in Portugal the government have made it illegal for bosses to send those after-hours messages. Unfortunately they can do nothing about the messages you get when you’re supposed to be at work.

The new rules were approved on Friday in an effort to give Portuguese employees a healthier work-life balance. They want to make sure that it is “work-life” and not “work-more-work-but-you’re-not-being-paid-for-it-life”. Employers who are messaging employees after they’ve clocked off will be subject to fines.

Also under the new rules put in place by Portugal’s ruling Socialist Party are requirements that companies also help pay for the sorts of “home” expenses that go up when your home becomes your office. They will chip in on electricity and internet bills. They will not be required to pay for water. Unless maybe there’s some rule where you can install a water cooler in your kitchen to recreate that break room feel.

The rules don’t apply to companies with less than ten employees. In those cases the boss can continue to send those “hey just one quick thing if you’re still checking your emails” messages well into the night.

The other employee-focused rule that’s being implemented is to help tackle the loneliness that can be brought on by long term working from home. Companies now need to arrange face-to-face meetings at least every two months. Which sounds like the sort of initiative you’d put in place to help people feel less alone but will definitely leave both parties involved hoping the other side cancels the catch-up at the last minute.