The Portuguese government has banned bosses from text messaging and emailing staff out of working hours as part of new laws dubbed “right to rest”.
The move is part of changes being introduced to improve work-life balance in response to an expansion of working from home in the country.
Companies that employ more than 10 people could face fines if they contact employees outside their contracted hours.
Portugal has also introduced new rules allowing staff with children to work remotely.
Parents will be allowed to work at home indefinitely without seeking prior approval from their employers until their child turns eight.
And companies may also have to contribute to higher household bills from being home-based, such as energy and internet costs.
Portugal’s Minister of Labour and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho, spoke glowingly about “telework” during a conference in Lisbon last week.
She also hoped the enhanced labour protections would attract more foreigners to the country. Said Godinho:
We consider Portugal one of the best places in the world for these digital nomads and remote workers to choose to live in, we want to attract them to Portugal.
Portugal already has a temporary resident visa scheme designed to attract entrepreneurs and freelancers.
The Portuguese island of Madeira has a “digital nomad village”, with free wifi and office desk facilities.
Other countries that have introduced so-called “digital nomad visas”, as opposed to standard tourist permits, include Barbados and Croatia.
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