AND DUTIES OF THE WORKERS
Labor rules (rights and
duties of the workers)
Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (Page 6 of 39)
- Fundamental rights and duties
SECTION II - Rights, freedoms and guarantees
Rights, freedoms and guarantees of workers
Security of employment
right of workers to security of employment is guaranteed. Dismissals
without just cause or for political or ideological reasons are
Workers have the right to establish workers' committees for the defence
of their interests and to secure a democratic share in the management of
establishment of committees shall be determined by the workers, who
shall also approve their constitutions and elect their members by direct
and secret ballot.
Coordinating committees may be established, for the purpose of
intervening more effectively in economic reorganisation and as a
safeguard for the guarantees for the interests of the workers.
Committee members shall enjoy the protection afforded by the law to
trade union delegates.
Workers' committees have the right:
receive all information necessary for the carrying out of their
monitor the management of enterprises;
participate in the processes of the company restructuring, particularly
as they relate to training initiatives or when there is a change in
participate in the preparation of labour legislation, and social and
economic plans, that concern their sector;
manage, or participate in the management of, social activities of
sponsor the election of workers' representatives to the management
organs of enterprises that belong to the State or other public bodies,
in accordance with the law.
Workers are free to form trade unions as a prerequisite and guarantee
for the building of their solidarity in defence of their rights and
Trade union freedoms are guaranteed to workers without discrimination,
in particular the following:
Freedom to establish trade unions at every level;
Freedom of membership, no worker being required to pay dues to a trade
union of which he or she is not a member;
Freedom in the organisation and internal regulation of trade unions;
right to engage in trade union activity within businesses;
right of trade unions to different aims, as determined by their
Trade unions shall be governed in accordance with the principles of
democratic organisation and management, based on regular elections to
their governing bodies by secret ballot, and they shall not be dependent
on any prior authorisation or recognition, as they are founded upon the
full participation by the workers in all aspects of trade union
Trade unions shall be independent of employers, the State and religious
denominations and political parties and other political associations.
Adequate guarantees for that independence shall be laid down by law as
the foundation for the solidarity of the working classes.
Trade unions have the right to establish relations with or to join
international trade union organisations.
workers' elected representatives shall enjoy the right of information
and consultation as well as adequate legal protection from any form of
constraint, coercion or limitation in the legitimate performance of
of trade unions and collective agreements
Trade unions have the right to defend and promote the defence of the
rights and interests of the workers they represent.
Trade unions have the right:
participate in the preparation of labour legislation;
participate in the management of social security institutions and other
bodies whose aim is to satisfy the interests of the working classes;
be heard with regard to economic and social plans and to accompany the
be represented on bodies engaged in the harmonisation of social matters,
as provided by the law.
participate in the processes of company restructuring, particularly as
they relate to training initiatives or when there is a change in working
Trade unions have the powers necessary for exercising the right to
conclude collective agreements, which shall be guaranteed by law.
rules governing the powers to conclude collective labour agreements, and
the validity of their provisions, shall be prescribed by law.
to strike and prohibition of lock-outs
right to strike is guaranteed.
Workers are entitled to determine which interests are to be protected by
means of strikes; the range of those interests shall not be restricted
law shall determine the conditions under which services are provided,
during a strike, that are necessary for the safety and maintenance of
equipment and installations, as well as minimum services that are
necessary to satisfy essential social needs.
Lock-outs are prohibited.
Economic, social and cultural rights and duties
Economic rights and duties
Everyone has the right to work.
order guarantee the right to work, it is the duty of the State to
promote the following:
implementation of policies of full employment;
Equality of opportunity in the choice of occupation or type of work, and
conditions that prevent the prohibition of, or restrictions on, access
to any post, work or profession by reason of a person's sex;
Cultural and technical training and vocational development for workers.
workers, regardless of age, sex, race, nationality, place of origin,
religion or political or ideological convictions, are entitled to :
Remuneration for their work, according to its quantity, nature and
quality, on the principle of equal pay for equal work, so as to
guarantee to them an appropriate livelihood;
organisation of work in keeping with human dignity and personal
self-fulfilment while reconciling the needs of vocational activity and
Safe and healthy working conditions;
Rest and recreation, a limit on the length of the working day, weekly
rest day and regular holidays with pay;
Material assistance when they are involuntarily unemployed.
Assistance and fair compensation for victims of accidents at work or of
is the duty of the State to guarantee the conditions of work,
remuneration and rest to which workers are entitled, in particular by:
Fixing, and keeping up to date, a national minimum wage, taking into
account, among other factors, the needs of workers, increases in the
cost of living, the extent to which the sectors of production have
developed, economic and financial stability, and capital growth for
purposes of development;
Setting national maximum working hours;
Special protection at work for women during pregnancy and after
childbirth, for minors and disabled person and for those engaged in
especially strenuous activity or working in unhealthy, toxic or
Systematic development, in co-operation with welfare services, of a
network of rest and holiday centres;
Protecting the working conditions and guaranteeing social benefits of
workers working abroad.
Protecting the working conditions of student workers.
Salaries shall enjoy special guarantees, as provided by law.
Private enterprise, co-operatives and worker-management
Private economic enterprise shall be freely exercised, within the
framework provided by this Constitution and the law, and with due
account to the general interest.
Everyone is recognised as having the right, without restrictions, to
establish co-operatives, provided that co-operative principles are
Co-operatives shall carry on their activities, within the law, without
restrictions and may join unions, federations and confederations and
such other forms of organisation provided by law.
law shall set down organisational requirements for co-operatives that
have public participation.
right to worker-management as provided by law shall be recognised.
Organisms connected with the
Ministry for Labour and Social Solidarity
The Ministry was created on 1916 as Ministry for Labour and Social
Welfare. Now it is called Ministério do Trabalho e da Solidariedade
Social (MTSS) (Ministry for Labour and Social Solidarity).
Duties performed by the MTSS include definition, orientation and
practice of the politics of labour and employment, professional
training, social security and social insertion, as well the
rehabilitation of disabled people.
The Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity is assisted by the
Secretary of State of Social Security, the Secretary of State of
Employment and Professional Training, and the Secretary of State Adjunct
and for Rehabilitation.
The politics of MTSS are putting into action through integrated services
under the direct administration of State, organisms under
superintendence and tutelage as well consulting organisms.
Members of Government
Minister for Labour and Social Solidarity:
Dr. José António Fonseca Vieira da Silva
Head of the Office:
Dr. Gabriel Gameiro Rodrigues Bastos
Phone: 21 842 41 00
Fax: 21 842 41 08
Address: Praça de Londres, 2-16.º
Secretary of State for Social Security:
Dr. Pedro Manuel Dias de Jesus Marques
Head of the Office:
Jorge Damas Rato
Phone: 21 844 17 00
Fax: 21 844 17 42
Address: Praça de Londres, 2-17.º
Secretary of State for Employment and Professional Training:
Dr. Fernando Medina Maciel Almeida Correia
Head of the Office:
Dr. Jorge Correia
Phone: 21 844 18 00
Fax: 21 844 18 46
Address: Praça de Londres, 2-15.º
Secretary of State Adjunct and for Rehabilitation:
Idália Maria Marques Salvador Serrão de Menezes Moniz
Head of the Office
Dr. Rui Daniel Ferreira Rosário
Phone: 21 844 16 00
Fax: 21 844 16 16
Address: Praça de Londres, 2-14.º