Ana Lambelho

Publications

1 The Portuguese Framework of the Professional Internship without Public Funds

Authors: Ana Lambelho

Abstract:

In an economic crisis such as the one that shook (and still shake) Europe, one does not question the importance of the measures that encourage the hiring and integration of young people into the labour market. In the mentioned context, enterprises tend to reduce the cost of labour and to seek flexible contracting instruments. The professional internships allow innovation and creativity at low cost, because, as they are not labour contracts, the enterprises do not have to respect the minimum standards related to wages, working time duration and so on. In Portugal, we observe a widespread existence of training contracts in which the trainee worked several hours without salary or was paid below the legally prescribed for the function and the work period. For this reason, under the tripartite agreement for a new system of regulation of labour relations, employment policies and social protection, between the Government and the social partners, in June 2008, foresaw a prohibition of professional internships unpaid and the legal regulation of the mandatory internships for access to an activity. The first Act about private internship contracts, i.e., internships without public funding was embodied in the Decree-Law N. 66/2011, of 1st June. This work is dedicated to the study of the legal regime of the internship contract in Portugal, by analysing the problems brought by the new set of rules and especially those which remains unresolved. In fact, we can conclude that the number of situations covered by the Act is much lower than what was expected, because of the exclusion of the mandatory internship for access to a profession when the activity is developed autonomously. Since the majority of the activities can be developed both autonomously or subordinated, it is quite easy to out of the Act requirements and, so, out of the protection that it confers to the intern. In order to complete this study, we considered not only the mentioned legal Act, but also the few doctrine and jurisprudence about the theme.

Keywords: Labour Law, Portugal, intern, internship contact

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Abstracts

2 The Portuguese Legal Instruments to Combat the Improper Use of the Contract Service

Authors: Ana Lambelho

Abstract:

Nowadays is very common that an activity may be performed independently or dependently. In Portugal, the Labour Law exclusively protects the dependent labour relations. The independent work is regulated by civil law, where the autonomy of the will is the main principle. For companies is more advantageous to hire people under a service agreement since, in that case, the relation is not submitted to the limits established in Labour law and collective bargaining. This practice has nothing wrong, if the performance of work is, in fact, made autonomously. The problem is the increased frequency of the celebration of service agreements to hide a legal relation of subordination. Aware of this and regarding the huge difficulty to demonstrate the existence of subordinated work (that often runs against the employee), the Portuguese legislator devoted some legislative rules in order to facilitate the evidence of legal subordination and, on the other hand, to avoid the misuse of the provision of service agreements. This study focuses precisely on the analysis of this solution, namely the so-called presumption of ‘laboralidade’ and on the lawsuit to recognize the existence of a labour contract. The presumption of the existence of a labour contract is present in the Portuguese legal system since 2003, and received, with the 2009 Labour Code, a new redaction that, according to the doctrine and the jurisprudence, finally approached it to a legal presumption, with the consequent reversal of the burden of proof and, in consequence, made easier to proof the legal subordination, because the employee will just have to plead and prove the existence of two of the elements described in the law to use this presumption. Another change in the Portuguese legal framework is related with the competencies of the Authority for Working Conditions (AWC): now, if during an inspection, the Authority finds a situation that seems to be an undeclared employment situation, it may access the company and, if it does not regularize voluntarily the situation, AWC has a duty to communicate to the public prosecutor, who will begin the lawsuit for the recognition of the existence of an employment contract. To defend the public interest, the action to recognize the existence of an employment contract will follow its terms, even against the employee will. Although the existence of these mechanisms does not solve by itself the problem of evasion of labour law and false ‘green receipts’, it is undeniable that it is an important step in combating fraud in this field.

Keywords: Portugal, independent work, labour contract, service agreement

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1 The Portuguese Framework of the Professional Internship without Public Funds

Authors: Ana Lambelho

Abstract:

In an economic crisis such as the one that shook (and still shake) Europe, one does not question the importance of the measures that encourage the hiring and integration of young people into the labour market. In the mentioned context, enterprises tend to reduce the cost of labour and to seek flexible contracting instruments. The professional internships allow innovation and creativity at low cost, because, as they are not labour contracts, the enterprises do not have to respect the minimum standards related to wages, working time duration and so on. In Portugal, we observe a widespread existence of training contracts in which the trainee worked several hours without salary or was paid below the legally prescribed for the function and the work period. For this reason, under the tripartite agreement for a new system of regulation of labour relations, employment policies and social protection, between the Government and the social partners, in June 2008, foresaw a prohibition of professional internships unpaid and the legal regulation of the mandatory internships for access to an activity. The first Act about private internship contracts, i.e., internships without public funding was embodied in the Decree-Law N. 66/2011, of 1st June. This work is dedicated to the study of the legal regime of the internship contract in Portugal, by analysing the problems brought by the new set of rules and especially those which remains unresolved. In fact, we can conclude that the number of situations covered by the Act is much lower than what was expected, because of the exclusion of the mandatory internship for access to a profession when the activity is developed autonomously. Since the majority of the activities can be developed both autonomously or subordinated, it is quite easy to out of the Act requirements and, so, out of the protection that it confers to the intern. In order to complete this study, we considered not only the mentioned legal Act, but also the few doctrine and jurisprudence about the theme.

Keywords: Labour Law, Portugal, intern, internship contact

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