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Leave in Portugal

Holiday Leave in Portugal

Employees are entitled to a minimum of 22 working days annual leave every calendar year. They can take their vacation until 30 April of the following year. Portugal has provisions that explicitly forbid employers from offering employees additional pay for forfeiting paid-leave days.

New hires are entitled to 20 days off in the first year working for the company. They incur two days of paid vacation each month and can only use them after six months of work. If the calendar year ends before six months, the vacation days are extended until 30 June the following year. If the employment starts on the first half of the year, the employee is entitled to eight days of vacation after completing 60 workdays.

The employer and employee may agree that:

  • If the employee takes their holiday entitlement between 1 January and 30 April, they can receive three extra days 
  • If the employee takes their holiday entitlement in two 11-day periods (January to April and May to October), they can receive two additional days

Need help understanding holiday leave in Portugal and any additional agreements?

Our experts can take you through all employment regulations in Portugal, including holiday and other paid leave


Public holidays

Employers must give employees paid leave on bank holidays. Work assignments on those days are considered overtime and subject to additional pay. Holidays are observed on the days they fall and do not move to the following workday if they fall on a weekend.

Portugal Public Holiday Calendar 2023

01/01/2023SundayNew Year's DayAno Novo
07/04/2023FridayGood FridaySexta-feira Santa
09/04/2023SundayEaster SundayDomingo de Páscoa
25/04/2023TuesdayFreedom DayDia da Liberdade
01/05/2023MondayLabour DayDia do Trabalhador
01/06/2023ThursdayAzores DayDia dos Açores
08/06/2023ThursdayCorpus ChristiCorpo de Deus
10/06/2023SaturdayNational DayDia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas
01/07/2023SaturdayMadeira DayDia da Madeira
15/08/2023TuesdayAssumption DayAssunção de Nossa Senhora
05/10/2023ThursdayRepublic DayImplantação da República
01/11/2023WednesdayAll Saints DayDia de Todos-os-Santos
01/12/2023FridayRestoration of IndependenceRestauração da Independência
08/12/2023FridayImmaculate ConceptionImaculada Conceição
25/12/2023MondayChristmas DayNatal
26/12/2023TuesdaySt. Stephen's DayPrimeira Oitava


Types of Leave in Portugal


Sick leave

Employees on sick leave are covered by the Portuguese social security system and can receive benefits for up to 1,095 days. Pay is as follows:

  • 55% of the average daily earnings for the first 30 days
  • 60% from the 31st day until the 90th
  • 70% from the 91st day until the 365th
  • 75% from then on

The employer covers the first three days of sickness, paying 89% of the employee wage. 

In some cases, collective labour agreements provide specific rules covering employee illness or injury.

Employees must meet the following conditions for benefit entitlement:

  • Be temporarily unable to work, which is certified by a doctor in the competent health service
  • Have worked for six consecutive calendar months before the onset of the illness, taking into account, the month in which the sickness occurred

Parental leave

Initial parental allowance

The initial parental allowance is granted to the father or mother for between 120 and 150 consecutive days, equally extended to both.

The period can be taken simultaneously by both. In the case of a lifeless birth, only the 120 days are allowed.

The period may be increased by 30 days if:

  • The leave is shared, and each parent exclusively takes 30 days in a row or two periods of 15 consecutive days, after the mother's mandatory 42 days
  • Giving birth to twins 
  • If the initial parental leave is not shared, and without prejudice to the rights of the mother (compulsory six weeks' entitlement), the initial parental benefit may be granted to the father.

If no declaration of sharing is submitted, the mother is entitled to the parental allowance.

Initial parental allowance if one parent is unable to take it

In case of physical or mental incapacity, or death of either parent, the initial parental allowance is granted to the other parent for the remaining period. If that is the case with the mother, the father gets a minimum of 30 days.

Maternity leave

Mothers are eligible for 30 days of maternity leave at full pay by Social Security before a child's birth (optional), and 42 days following the birth (mandatory). If the employee has twins, she's entitled to an additional 30 days.

Paternity leave

Biological and adoptive fathers are entitled to 20 mandatory working days of leave. Five of those have to be taken right after the birth or adoption and the remaining 15 within six weeks. There's an extra five optional workings days (consecutive or not) that can be taken immediately after the mandatory period, provided they are taken after the compulsory 20 working days. The leave is paid for by Social Security.

In the case of twins, each of the periods mentioned above is increased by two days for each child. They have to be taken immediately after each of the periods.

Carer's leave

Employees are entitled to the following carer's leave for ill or injured family members:

  • Up to 30 days a year for a child under the age of 12, or the child of another member of the family with a disability or chronic illness
  • Up to 15 days a year for children over the age of 12, a partner or other member of the family, including the father, mother, sister and brother

Bereavement leave

Employees are entitled to two days of paid bereavement leave but must provide the employer with the required documents.

Work-related injury

Employers are required to take out private insurance to cover employees in case of a work injury. During the first 12 months of disability, the worker receives 70% of their earnings and 75% after that. This benefit is paid until recovery, or permanent disability takes effect.

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