Portugal Expands Leave Provisions for Parents 

Connecticut Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave
September 24, 2019

Changes to paid leave entitlement for parents in Portugal increase compulsory paternity leave, add leave for parents of sick children and premature babies, and allow time-off for parents undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. Some provisions in Law No. 90/2019 (Portuguese), published on 29 Jul 2019, have taken effect; others will take effect on publication of the state budget.


The different types of leave addressed in the revised law include:

Paternity leave. Compulsory leave for fathers has increased from 15 days to 20 days, and optional paternity leave has decreased from 20 days to five days. Fathers must take paternity leave within six weeks of the child’s birth and use at least five days’ leave immediately after the birth. The leave can be taken as a single period or in blocks. Under the old law, fathers had to take paternity leave at the same time as the mother’s period of maternity leave.

Parents of sick children. Parents can take at least six months’ leave if they are caring for a child with cancer, a disability or a chronic illness.

Parents of hospitalized baby. Parents of a hospitalized newborn can take up to 30 days’ leave — and up to 30 additional days’ leave for a premature (33 weeks’ gestation or less) baby — during the hospital stay.

Parents undertaking IVF treatment. Parents can take three workdays’ leave during each treatment cycle.

Nondiscrimination. Parents are protected from employment discrimination for exercising their rights to maternity and paternity leave.

Autonomous regions. Mothers located in the autonomous regions (Azores and Madeira) are entitled to additional leave to give birth in Portugal on medical advice. The spouse or a close relative can take time off to accompany the pregnant woman.

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