Portuguese get the right to "self-declared" sick leave

Lisbon Street, January 29, 2022 (Illustration image). © Adri Salido / Getty Images

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The Portuguese will be able to obtain from this Monday, May 1st, a work stoppage of up to three days, on a simple "self-declaration" of illness by internet or telephone. A measure that should help relieve congestion in the national health service, according to a government statement.


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This measure will not involve any cost for the State or the employer, since the maximum duration of the stoppage corresponds to the waiting period during which the employee is not paid by Social Security, said the Ministry of Health.

This provision is part of a set of measures "for dignified work", adopted in February by Parliament to improve the working conditions of employees. The reform of the Labour Code provides for dozens of other measures, such as a broadening of situations allowing teleworking or an increase in severance pay.

Simplifying the process

To obtain one of these short-term sick leaves, limited to two per year, suffering employees will now be able to justify their absence to their employer through a simple declaration on their honor on the website of the National Health Service (SNS).

One of the objectives of this measure, which concerns all workers over 16 years of age, is to make life easier for users and to lighten the workload of family doctors in public health centres, the only ones authorized to issue sick leave. The Ministry of Health estimates that some 600,000 consultations are scheduled each year to justify absences of up to three days. The short-term online work stoppages had been tested during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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(With AFP


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  • Portugal
  • Health and medicine
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