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Legal alert no. 37

Prevention of the practice of harassment in a labour context in the private sector and in the Public Administration

On August 16th, Law no. 73/2017, which strengthens the legislative framework for the prevention of harassment, by amending the Portuguese Labour Code and the General Labour Law in Public Functions, was published in the Portuguese Official Gazette.

Concerning the amendments to the Portuguese Labour Code, this law establishes: (i) the prohibition of harassment; (ii) the victim's right to compensation; (iii) the adoption of codes of good conduct for the prevention and combat of harassment in the workplace, whenever a Company has seven or more employees; (iv) the liability of the employer for the compensation of damages arising from occupational diseases resulting from harassment; (v) the obligation to mention, in the revocation agreement of the labour agreement, the legal deadline for the exercise of the right to terminate such revocation agreement; (vi) the inclusion of the practice of harassment, by the employer or its representative, as a just cause of termination of the labour contract by the employee, denounced to the Authority for Labour Conditions.

With reference to the General Labour Law in Public Functions, the new law establishes: (i) the Portuguese Labour Code becomes applicable, regarding harassment, to the civil service employees, and (ii) the Public Administration must adopt codes of good conduct for the prevention and combat of harassment in the workplace and shall initiate a disciplinary proceeding whenever aware of alleged harassment.

This Law enters into force on October 1st, 2017.

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