Job contracts

What to expect from a job contract in Portugal

Apart from cash-in-hand jobs, any sort of paid work must be contracted in Portugal. Make sure that you understand what is written in the contract before putting your pen to paper.

Before signing a contract you should have some idea of average wages and working hours. You do not want to sign a contract that offers you too little money for the hours and responsibility you are taking on.

Labour law in Portugal

Working hours:In theory, it is illegal to work more than 40 hours per week and more than 8 hours a day. Most companies set contracts with 35-40 hours spread out over a five-day week. It is not uncommon for some Portuguese companies to extend their working hours to Saturdays as well.

National minimum wage (Retribuição mínima mensal garantida or RMMG): At the time of writing, the national monthly minimum wage was € 475. Normally the national minimum wage increases by 5.6% each year.

Average wages:The average monthly salary in Portugal is between €700 and €800. This kind of wage will give you enough money to live off but not enough to fulfill an extravagant lifestyle. Salaries are paid in monthly installments either by Direct Debit or Cheque.

Holidays:Every employee is entitled to a minimum of 22 days paid holiday each year. This does not include the thirteen public and bank holidays.

Your job contract

Your contract should outline your tax liability and highlight any Social Security benefits that may come with the job.

A permanent job contract is likely to last for six to nine months. Make sure you understand everything that is written in the contract. Do not be shy to ask for a translator to check it.


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