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Pregnant Women's Rights in Portugal and Their Benefits

Pregnancy is an important step in the life of the woman and the couple and is therefore protected in Portugal by law, which gives certain rights to pregnant women.

As soon as she is pregnant and to benefit from the rights of the pregnant woman, she can and must acquire the status of pregnant worker (pregnant trabalhadora). Do you know what are the exclusive rights for pregnant women in Portugal? How to benefit?

Rights of pregnant women in Portugal: how to benefit?

To benefit from your rights, you must inform your employer that you are pregnant, in writing, on presentation of a medical certificate proving the pregnancy. Thus you will be able to activate your rights as a pregnant trabalhadora (pregnant worker) and begin to benefit from it.

In order to obtain this medical certificate you just have to go to your Centro de Saude which will prescribe the necessary examinations.

When a pregnant woman in Portugal registers as a "pregnant trabalhadora," she gains access to the "Protection of Parenthood" Regime, which grants her specific rights:

  1. Initial Parental Leave: Up to 30 days of paid leave, with full salary (100% of reference earnings). This includes mandatory leave of six weeks after childbirth.

  2. Clinical Risk: The right to stop working if there's a "clinical risk" for the pregnant worker or the unborn child, as prescribed by a doctor. This doesn't affect the initial parental leave.

  3. Termination of Pregnancy: If a pregnancy ends (voluntarily or not) between 14 and 30 days, the pregnant woman can be excused from work with a medical certificate.

  4. Prenatal Care: The freedom to attend prenatal consultations and childbirth preparation as often as necessary.

  5. Task Exemptions: Avoiding tasks that could endanger health. If the employer can't provide alternative work, a daily allowance is given, equivalent to 65% of the reference salary. Note: For part-time workers, the exemption is adjusted based on their regular hours, but it can't be less than 30 minutes.

  6. Overtime Relief: Not required to work overtime.

  7. Fixed Schedules: Won't be assigned different or rotating work schedules.

  8. Night Work: Exempted from night work between 8 pm and 7 am, starting 112 days before childbirth, with at least half of this time before the due date. This continues for the remaining pregnancy period if necessary for health. Employers should try to provide a suitable schedule, and if not possible, the worker should be excused from work.

Paid leave during pregnancy in Portugal is a right, and taking maternity leave does not impact your other leave entitlements. You retain your days off, even if they overlap with the post-delivery period.

In the case of dismissing a pregnant woman, the process must be justified (justa causa). The employer's actions will be evaluated by the "Comissão para a Igualdade no Trabalho e no Emprego" (Commission for Equality in Work and Employment, CITE), which has the authority to void the dismissal if the employer is at fault. The pregnant woman can also seek compensation for any harm caused.

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