Portugal Leave Laws

Does your team operate in Portugal? Do you have workers situated in Portugal? If so, brush up on Portugal’s leave laws, to make sure you operate in line with the laws and customs of the country.

Read on to learn more about public holidays, annual leave, sick leave, maternity and paternity leave and more in Portugal.

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.

Portugal Public Holidays

There are 13 public holidays in Portugal, which are observed throughout the country. 

Here are the public holidays in Portugal for 2024:

January 1New Year’s Day
March 29Good Friday
March 31Easter
April 25thFreedom Day/Liberation Day
May 1Labour Day
June 10Portugal Day
June 16Corpus Christi
August 15Assumption Day
October 5Republic Day
November 1All Saints’ Day
December 1Restoration of Independence
December 8Immaculate Conception Day
December 25Christmas Day

Public Holiday Pay

Employees are paid their regular working rate (in addition to having the day off) for a public holiday.

If an employee is required to work on a public holiday, they’ll be paid overtime, equal to 50% of their regular rate (on top of their normal pay for the time worked), in addition to a compensatory day off.

Annual Leave in Portugal

Employees in Portugal are entitled to a minimum of 22 days of paid annual leave per year (assuming their employment contract is in effect on the 1st of January that year).

Annual leave begins to accrue once the employee has worked for 6 months with their employer. At this time, they’ll be given 2 days of annual leave for each month of their employment contract, up until they reach the standard threshold (22 days).

In the first year of employment, employees can take a maximum of 20 working days off, extending to 30 days in their second year of employment.

Annual leave must be taken within the calendar year that it accrues, or at the latest, up until April 30 of the following year.

Paying Out Leave

Employees can “waive” vacation days if they have more than 20 days of annual leave available. For example, if the employee has 22 days of paid time off available, they can waive up to 2 days.

If the employee waives their annual leave, they will be paid for the days that they waived.

All untaken annual leave will be paid out upon termination of employment – however the employer can also require that the employee take any outstanding days of annual leave before the employment ends.

Portugal Sick Leave/Medical Leave

Once an employee has been employed for 6 months – consecutively or in parts – they are entitled to up to 1095 days of paid sick leave.

The first three days of sick leave is paid by the employer, at 89% of the employee’s regular pay. From the 4th day of being unable to work, sick leave is paid by Portugal’s Social Security Institute.

Sick pay is as follows:

Up to 30 days off55% of regular pay
31 to 90 days off60% of regular pay
91 to 365 days off70% of regular pay
Over 365 days off75% of regular pay

Maternity Leave in Portugal

Maternity leave is paid by Portugal’s social security.

Mothers are entitled to 30 days of paid maternity leave leading up to the birth. They must also take 6 week’ leave after birth.

Employees are entitled to “Initial Parental Leave”, of 120 or 150 days, which can be shared between both parents.

If 120 days’ initial parental leave is taken, the pay is 100% of the employee’s regular pay. If 150 days are taken, the pay is 80% of their regular pay.

Paternity Leave in Portugal

Fathers are entitled to exclusive parental leave, of up to 20 working days, to be taken within 6 weeks following the childbirth. At least 5 of these days should be taken consecutively.

Additional Leave Types

Adoption Leave

The same period as with Initial Parental Leave applies if an employee adopts a child under the age of 15.

Carer’s Leave

Employees are entitled to unpaid leave to care for children with disabilities, chronic illness, or cancer, for up to 6 months, extendable to 4 years.

Parents are entitled to unpaid childcare leave, on top of any parental leave (and supplementary parental leave) of up to 2 years, or up to 3 years for multiple children.

Bereavement Leave in Portugal

Employees are entitled to paid bereavement leave in Portugal.

Following the death of their child, the employee is entitled to 20 days’ paid bereavement leave.

For a spouse or a parent, the length of bereavement leave is 5 days.

For a second or third-degree relative (e.g. grandparent, grandchild) or second-degree collateral relative (e.g. brother, brother-in-law, and adopted child), the length of bereavement leave is 2 days.

Official Resources


This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.

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