Portugal’s push for a four-day workweek

The pilot project developed during the second half of 2023 in Portugal, in which a group of private and public companies tested a four-day workweek, yielded positive results.

The initiative originated from the non-profit organization 4 Day Week, which, with its proposal to reduce the workweek, persuaded countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, South Africa, and Portugal to implement this option.

The results varied. In some countries, the experiment failed, as El Comercio points out, “either because it resulted in a significant increase in government spending or because it ended up overburdening employees.”

Belgium is an example of such a case. In November 2022, its government proposed the four-day workweek option but without reducing the 38-hour workweek. Those who wanted this option would have to work from 9:30 to 10 hours daily. As a result, only 0.5% of Belgian workers were willing to opt for the shorter week.

The outcome was quite different in the United Kingdom. Not only did the economic gains of participants increase by 35%, but absenteeism decreased by 67%, labor turnover dropped by 57%, while 39% of workers reported less work-related stress. Another 71% said they felt less fatigue.

Portugal also saw success. While the government did not offer any economic compensation or subsidy, one of the keys to carrying out the project was salaries: there were no salary cuts. The workweek was set at 34 hours.

The figures are compelling: 95% of the 41 participating companies have positive experiences.

Workers also expressed satisfaction, as their mental health levels improved significantly. Anxiety showed a decrease of 21%; 19% of them reported having fewer sleep problems, and the feeling of loneliness decreased by 14%. Moreover, 65% of people said they spent more time with their families.

“The workers rest more, have better levels of mental health and family conciliation. These are factors that also affect the company and allow talent retention,” said the program coordinator, Pedro Gomes, to Infobae.

Work Visas for Portugal

Although this project has ended, it may have prompted you to consider working in Portugal. After all, it is one of the top 10 countries for remote work.
In this regard, we recommend the following options:

Digital Nomad Visa: This visa allows you to live in Portugal and work for a company located in another territory. This visa offers a residence permit for 2 years, which is then renewable for another 3 years. After residing in the country for 5 years, you can apply for citizenship. To apply for this visa, you must demonstrate that, for the last 3 months, you have had a monthly income exceeding 4 Portuguese minimum wages (currently equivalent to approximately 3,280 euros per month). Additionally, you must obtain health insurance and demonstrate that you have accommodation or a letter of invitation, or that you have paid rent for at least 4 months.

Golden Visa: This is an investment residence program that allows you to obtain citizenship in just 5 years without the need to reside in Portugal. The Golden Visa allows you to work, study, and travel freely within the Schengen area. The Golden Visa program allows family reunification, offering the option for children and parents to obtain citizenship, and again, with the great attraction of not having to reside in Portugal. To proceed with this application, you must invest in funds, starting from 500,000 euros, or make a contribution to artistic and cultural projects starting from 200,000 euros.

Schedule a meeting with our team to explore the best options for you on your path to Portugal. We are experts in international mobility and want to help you become a global citizen.

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