Skip to main content

The end of the statement of discharge as a confession of receipt?

By 1 Março, 2023Abril 12th, 2023No Comments

On January 23rd the Oporto Court of Appeal ruled that the signing of a document by an employee quitting a job in the context of a dismissal by termination of employment has full evidentiary force of the receipt of the amounts mentioned therein.

In this case, the employee contested the dismissal by termination of his job arguing, among others, that he had not received the compensation due for the dismissal by termination, a fact that could lead to the illegality of the dismissal.

However, the Lisbon Court of Appeal, called upon to settle the dispute, considered that the fact that the employee had signed a statement called a “declaration of discharge”, in which he declared to have received a certain amount referring to labor credits and due compensation for dismissal, is proof of such receipt, and cannot justify the illegality of the dismissal.

According to the Court’s interpretation, a discharge statement signed by the employee (creditor) constitutes an admission by the employee of a fact that is unfavorable to him/her and that favors the opposing part.

For this reason, it considers that “once the worker has received compensation for collective dismissal or for termination of employment, everything proceeds as if the parts had terminated the employment contract by mutual agreement, and the worker is prevented from challenging such dismissal on the basis of procedural or motivational vices.

However, the approval of the changes to the Labor Code under the Decent Work Agenda may put the conclusion reached by the court in crisis.

One of the legislative changes approved was the prohibition of extinguishing the worker’s credits arising from the employment contract, its violation or termination by means of abdicative remission, except in the case of a judicial transaction.

Now, with the entry into force of this alteration, it can be foreseen that the signing of documents of discharge, which represent abdicative remissions, will no longer have the effect of confession.

Filipa Lopes Galvão @ DCM | Littler