Skip to main content

Extension of the Father’s Exclusive Parental Leave: an illusion?

By 26 Dezembro, 2022Janeiro 10th, 2023No Comments

Last week the approval of the extension of parental leave for fathers was announced, following the proposed law in the scope of the “Decent Work Agenda” (In Portuguese, “Agenda do Trabalho Digno”).

In question is article 43 of the (Portuguese) Labour Code (CT), which previously provided for an exclusive father’s leave of 20 working days, consecutive or interspersed, to be taken in the six weeks following the birth of the child.

In line with the approved alteration, the law now contemplates a period of exclusive parental leave for the father of 28 days, to be taken in the 42 days following the birth of the child (previously in the 6 weeks following the birth), maintaining the possibility of being taken in a consecutive or interspersed manner.

However, the major difference occurs in the nature of the days of leave in question. This is because, if previously it consisted of working days, these are now “common” days – which makes Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays part of the leave routine.

By way of example, a child born on 16 January 2023, and considering that the father takes the days in a continuous manner and only works from Monday to Friday, under the previous regime, the leave would end on 13 February 2023.

With the new regime, although an additional 8 days of leave is provided, since these are not working days, if the father takes the leave in the same circumstances as set out above, the leave will also end on 13 February 2023.

From this we conclude that, although the legislative change has some positive consequences – namely regarding workers who work only on non-working days – or in the case where the days are taken interspersed, the extension may be illusory in certain cases.

The real will of the legislator must be ascertained, aware of a possible limitation of the legislative amendment.

José Maria Coelho @ DCM | Littler