Should bosses be banned from contacting employees outside of work? Portugal thinks so

International

A group of three young women and two men of different ethnicities are in a business meeting in a modern day office. A bald man is talking to the group while there are laptops and documents on the table.

TAMPA (WFLA) — Workers in Portugal will soon have more free time after the country passed new labor laws this month to keep bosses from contacting them outside of work hours.

According to a report by CNBC, the laws require employers to give workers at least 11 consecutive hours of night rest in which they cannot be contacted except for emergencies.

The laws, passed after the shift to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, also require employers to pay for work-from-home expenses like internet and power. Employers will also have to meet with employees in person every two months.

Employers could be fined if they violate the workers’ rights, although owners of businesses with fewer than 10 employees are exempt from the new requirements.

Portugal isn’t the first country to propose such laws, as a “right to disconnect” their work device has been introduced in other European countries.

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