Constitutional Court introduces limits to the trial period of 180 days
Portugal Labor Alert
The Portuguese Labor Code reform of 2019 established a trial period of 180 days for open-ended employment contracts with employees seeking their first job and for long-term unemployed persons.
This rule was subject to the Constitutional Court check, which, in its Judgment no. 318/2021, of 18 May, declared unconstitutional, with a general binding effect, the abovementioned rule of 180 days trial period, but only when applicable to employees seeking their first job, and as long as they have previously been hired under a fixed-term employment contract by other employer(s).
The Constitutional Court stated that the aforementioned rule, for that specific group of employees, violated the principle of equality set forth in the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, since the employees seeking their first job who had previously been hired under a fixed-term employment contract by the same employer would have their trial period reduced, but those that were previously employed under a fixed-term contract by a different employer(s) would not.
Thus, the Constitutional Court held that such provision (article 112, paragraph 1, subparagraph b), subparagraph iii) of the Portuguese Labor Code) violated the right to equality regarding the employees seeking their first job who had previously been hired under a fixed-term employment contract by other employer(s) for a period of, at least, 90 days. On this ground, the Constitutional Court declared the aforementioned rule unconstitutional, with general biding effect.
As a result, such rule would cease to be legally valid, as it was declared unconstitutional.
As for the other cases covered by the trial period of 180 days, namely other employees seeking their first job and employees considered long-term unemployed, the Constitutional Court did not find any unconstitutionality.