November 29, 2021 - 9:39 am

 Portugal Bans Bosses Contacting Employees After-Hours 

Portugal's parliament recently introduced new labour law that penalises companies for contacting employees outside office hours. The new labour law provide additional protection for employees who do their job from company premises. The new law is meant to ensure a healthier work-life balance, aims to make Portugal an attractive destination for "digital nomads".

                            Given the blurring of lines between office and home, the work-day and personal time, after the pandemic stuck, it is much more difficult to know when "office hours" end. It is the complexity of this "new normal" that the well-meaning law passed by Portugal's socialist government seems not to comprehend. The rule also require employees to meet face-to-face with their bosses once every two months to tackle the loneliness and isolation with remote working.

                             Since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, everyone had to atop his daily lives. However, women are being impacted in profound ways, facing tremendous challenges and commonly taking on expanded duties at home while continuing to juggle their careers. Meanwhile a Deloitte Global Survey earlier this year showed that work from house took a heavy toll on working women, nearly 82% of women surveyed said their lives have been impacted adversely due to the pandemic.

                             While the new rules have brought a sight of relief to many remote workers in the country, some rules such as the "right to disconnect" were not passed by the parliament. The provisions meant that workers could switch off their work devices. One the few advantages for many people working from home during the pandemic has been the flexibility it affords. With all flexibility and freedom, the notion of "work hours" all but disappears. And if you can work anytime so can your boss.