The Portuguese Government has issued two orders, Order no. 2836-A/2020 and Order no. 2875-A/2020,with guidelines on how employers and employees should act as we face the Covid-19 outbreak. 

To private sector employees the following rules apply:

  • In case of quarantine by decision of the Portuguese health authorities, due to the danger of contamination, the employee is guaranteed payment at 100% of the salary, from the first day, for 14 days.
  • After this period, if the employee remains unfit for work for health reasons, in particular because they have been tested positive for the virus, the rules of sick leave apply: 55% of the reference salary for leave up to 30 days, 60% for leave between 31 and 90 days, 70% for leave between 91 and 365 days and 75% of the reference salary for any leave the lasts more than one year.  The sickness benefit is paid from the first day of leave since it is a hospital stay.
  • The provisions of the preceding paragraph do not apply to employees for whom it is possible to ensure the use of alternative work arrangements, in particular teleworking, where they will continue to receive their regular salary.
  • In the event of a situation in which employees have to leave to provide assistance to children, grandchildren or other household members in prophylactic isolation, the scheme laid down by Portuguese law for these purposes applies.

To civil servants the following rules apply:

  • In the event of isolation, which must necessarily be determined by a Portuguese health authority, the civil servant’s absence is considered justified without loss of pay.
  • When alternative performance methods and work mechanisms (e.g. telework) are possible, the worker retains his rights as if they were working normally.
  • In the event of a situation in which civil servants have to leave to provide assistance to children, grandchildren or other household members in prophylactic isolation, the scheme laid down by Portuguese law for these purposes applies.

There are other differences to note between the two orders: the order regarding the public sector is the most extensive and warns civil servants that they have five working days, from the date of publication, to prepare contingency plans based on the guidelines of the Portuguese General Directorate for Health, in particular with alternative procedures that allow ensuring the normal functioning  of each service or establishment. Public services should also consider other measures, such as: (i) reduction or suspension of the public opening hours, (ii) suspension of public events or initiatives, carried out either indoors or in places open to the public and (iii) suspension of face-to-face training activities, giving preference to distance training.

The regime of leave due to prophylactic isolation entered into force, for Portuguese state services and establishments, on March 2 and in the private sector on March 3.

The Government approved at the Council of Ministers the amount of the wage increases for the public administration to be applied in 2020.

Under the Law Decree approved yesterday, civil servants will have a wage increase of 0.3% in 2020.

Workers with salaries up to €683.13 will have a salary increase of €10.

The new increases also apply to workers working in public sector companies, as long as they’re not covered by existing collective labor regulatory instruments.

The new updates are retroactive to 1 January 2020.


Yesterday two new collective agreements were signed for CP employees, one for train drivers and the other for general professional categories, about two decades after the first publication of the previous agreement.

The new agreements were concluded by CP and the trade unions representing all the professional categories - SMAQ, SFRCI, FECTRANS/SNTSF, ASSIFECO, SNAQ, ASCEF, SINFB, SINFA, SINAFE, SINDEFER, and SNEET.

The agreements include, among other benefits, increases of the base salaries, meal allowance, seniority benefits, failure allowance, shift allowance, prevention allowance and driving bonus.

Allowances were also created for certain professional categories, namely for railway workers and train employees.

With regard to the organization of working time, the parties have reached agreement on a number of important issues for improving the balance of workers' private and professional lives, in particular:

  • Definition of a minimum rest time at headquarters between services of 14 hours for mobile employees;
  • The posting of a map of stopovers and shifts 15 days in advance;
  • Duty to inform employees of any changes to schedule and shift maps at least three days in advance, except in unforeseen situations; and
  • Prohibition of the imposition of holidays by the company outside the period between May 15 and October 15.

The new collective agreement also establishes the right of employees to health insurance and pre-school allowance.

The signing of the new  collective agreements is part of the principle of collective autonomy and the right to collective bargaining, enshrined among the rights, freedoms and guarantees of workers, specifically in no. 3 of article 56 of the Portuguese Constitution.

New entrants will have access to a bidding phase on their own in the upcoming 5G auction scheduled for April this year. New entrants are reserved one lot in the 900MHz band and three lots in the 1800MHz band, along with national roaming provisions and limitations on the acquisition of certain lots, they are also granted a 25% discount on the final price of that purchased band spectrum. Lastly, in order to smoothen the financial burden that may arise of the auction, bidders for the 700MHz, 900MHz and 3.6GHz bands, are required to pay only 2/3 of the purchased spectrum and defer the remainder over a five-year period.

As Portugal is among the European countries with the lowest number of MNO’s, thus the allocation of rights of use of 5G frequencies by auction, that will take place in April, it is estimated competition will improve, with new business models and market offerings emerging.

The total reservation price for the spectrum auction is of 237,9 million euros.

Restrictions are set to 700MHz and 3,6GHz frequency spectrum acquisition, which guarantees each undertaking is able to acquire the amount of spectrum it needs for the business they intend to develop, stimulating and ensuring the efficient use of spectrum.

For the relevant 5G frequency bands (700MHz and 3,6GHz), the reservation prices were set in line with the average reservation prices from the auctions already held in Europe: to the 700MHz band, 19,20 million euros per lot, in a total of 115,20 million euros; to the 3,6GHz band, which is divided in 40 lots and amounts to a total of 45,7 million euros, with the exception of the restricted use of some lots.

For the remaining bands: 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2,1GHz and 2,6GHz, the values are the same as for the multi-band auction that took place between 2011 and 2012, in which these bands had already been made available.

By the end of 2020 Portugal will have fulfilled the European Commission’s ambition to have at least one city with 5G and, by the end of 2025, the full coverage of 5G communication networks.

According to ANACOM schedule, the consultation on the auction draft regulation shall be concluded within 30 working days, as of 12 February, and the final allocation of the 5G frequency usage rights is expected to occur in August 2020.

MV Conversation with Cláudia Fernandes Martins

Macedo Vitorino’s newest partner reflects on life as a lawyer, balancing the personal and professional, as well as an insight into her newest compliance initiative.

What Cláudia Fernandes Martins truly loves about the profession is how many options you have, both in practice and in terms of continuing to learn and grow as a lawyer. “Being a lawyer gives me a range of different challenges, which truly fits my personality and profile,” she explains. “When I started, I didn’t have a precise idea of what I was getting into, but, fortunately, it hasn’t disappointed!”

As Macedo Vitorino’s newly-elect partner, Cláudia Fernandes Martins is the second female partner at the firm. Her practice focuses on commercial and corporate law, competition law and intellectual property, and she heads up the Privacy and Data Protection department.

Looking back at when she began her studies, partnership wasn’t necessarily the plan. “I really wanted to become a law professor, but when I finished university, we didn’t have the options that are available now, and becoming a lawyer was the natural path to take.”


From theoretical student to practical lawyer

In 2003, after graduating from Lisbon University’s Law School, Cláudia Fernandes Martins joined Macedo Vitorino as a trainee. Completing a Postgraduate Degree in State Aid and Tax Law in 2005 and a Master’s in EU and Competition Law in 2008 focusing on private enforcement, her foundations as a lawyer have always been rooted in the area of competition. “The more I learned and delved into competition, the more I enjoyed it,” she says. “Competition covers such a broad range of topics and interlinks with so many other areas, that’s what keeps me so interested. And I relish that challenge.”

Cláudia Fernandes Martins’ biggest challenge was the switch from a theoretical mindset to a more practical one. “Being theorical is a huge advantage when studying. But when I started practising, I had to become far more practical and conscious of what actually works in reality. Clients want solutions, based on theory of course, but that work in practice and in the real world.”

It was a steep learning curve and Cláudia Fernandes Martins admits you never stop learning. “I’m always thinking about what clients need from us that they can put into practice. It’s a constant balancing act between legal theory and real-world practice.” This is something she notices has changed with the younger generations of lawyers. “They try to give answers and solutions straight away without necessarily taking into account the theory to support them.”

Her advice to the younger generation would be to gain as much practical experience as you can. “Anyone who is going to be dealing with clients day-to-day needs practical experience and to ensure to focus on both the law and the real world, taking both factors into account. I would also advise to grab every opportunity you can with both hands.” As you get older and have families, she explains, your options can become more limited, and your choices at times must be dictated by your personal lives. “The younger generation needs to take full advantage of this time in their lives when they are free to try it all. Study as much as you can, take on those projects that excite you and dedicate yourself to going for your goals.”


Balancing the personal and professional

One thing Cláudia Fernandes Martins has also had to perfect was how to hit the right balance between her professional and personal life, especially with a young family. “The balance has to be looked at every single day. You need to balance the needs of your children with those of your clients, all the while remembering you only have two hands, which sometimes isn’t enough!”

She ensures to keep her personal and profession lives separate, and not to do both at the same time. “When I’m with the children I’m 100% present, so I try not to take much work home. Once they’re asleep, then I can be 100% present for anything I need to finish for my clients.”

While the demands of a young family affect you more physically, now that Cláudia Fernandes Martins’ children are a little older the demands are more mental. “You have to be on alert 24-7 and anticipate: Is everything alright? Is there anything that isn’t apparent, any danger or something flying under the radar? I’m the mother, and my role is to find the solution.”

This is the approach she also applies to clients. “There really are transferable skills from both sides, and I feel I have really grown as a lawyer since being a mother. My maturity and practical side have improved dramatically. With children there’s only so much theory – you have to be hands-on and practical! I want my children to see what I do, how I do it and why I do it. I want to be the best as an example for them, and I want to do the same for my clients.”


Taking clients into the new compliance era

Cláudia Fernandes Martins credits much of her latter career path decisions to her young family. “This is something I’ve heard from other female lawyers, when you have children you gain a new perspective on your personal and professional life.”

When her youngest (four) was born, she remembers being at home reading up on the upcoming GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulations) and wanting to get involved in what was coming. So as soon as she was back at work she began working on a new project on the GDPR. This led her to spearhead an initiative that has been supporting clients through the GDPR implementation period and beyond, as well as educating them on the power of data and its constant evolution. “This was really a moment of change for me.”

Cláudia Fernandes Martins is now developing another innovative offering for their clients in the area of compliance. “Compliance is integral to so many areas of law, and ever-changing with new rules, best practices and sanctions. We noticed when working day-to-day with clients that many were merely ticking boxes and conducting internal audits and thinking that keeps them compliant,” she explains. “Compliance goes so much deeper than that. Check boxes are no longer enough to keep you safe. So we want to educate and support our clients through every step of their compliance journey and ensure that they are complying 100% in every area of this complex field.”  

She gives the example of internal and external audits. Internal audits run the risk of reasoning bias and that’s where things get overlooked or go undetected. This also applies if you are using the same auditing companies year-in year-out. “Clients need fresh, objective eyes to detect any errors or omissions that weren’t found through internal or usual external audits,” she says. “A partner that can help uncover the key issues that haven’t been identified and put clients on the right path in terms of transparency, compliance, ethics, social responsibilities etc – that’s where the added value lies.”

The goal is to make Macedo Vitorino a go-to firm for compliance, in the same way as with Data Protection, and the firm’s newest partner is confident their new product will prove to be the added value that clients are looking for.



In 2018, Portugal won the 25th edition of the World Travel Awards for «Best Destination in the World» and «Best European Destination». But is Portugal just a nice country to visit or can Portugal become a preferred destination for investors?

In 2018, Portugal won the 25th edition of the World Travel Awards for «Best Destination in the World» and «Best European Destination» for the second consecutive year, along with 15 other awards.

Lisbon was voted «Best Destination City» and «Best City Break Destination». Madeira was considered the «Best Insular Destination» and Passadiços do Paiva «Best Adventure Tourism Attraction».

Portugal won awards for «Best Tourism Organization» and «Best Conservation Company». The Portuguese airline TAP won three awards. Five hotels in Portugal received awards, including «World’s Leading City Hotel», «World’s Leading Classic Hotel» and «World’s Leading Design Hotel».

The World Travel Awards reward excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. Portugal beat many other recognized destinations such as South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Greece, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, New Zealand, Kenya, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

Portugal was also recognized as «Best World and European Golf Destination» in the World Golf Awards in 2018.

The surge in tourism has been fuelling Portugal’s economic growth since 2014 with significant investments in new hotels and residential projects for short-term leases.

Since 2013, the number of international visitors increased from € 15,9 million to € 24,6 million in 2017. According to the Portuguese National Statistics Institute, tourism-related revenues reached € 15,2 million in 2017.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) increased 61%. Unemployment fell to 8,9% and 7.657 new jobs were created as a direct result of FDI.

The afflux of tourists is offering Portugal an unique opportunity for showcasing the country’s best qualities, attract new business ventures and make Lisbon one of Europe’s best cities to create innovative companies.

Lisbon is now recognized as a popular city for entrepreneurship, innovation, internationalization and financing of startups. 

According to EY, the perception of investors of Portugal’s future attractiveness for business increased 7% since 2013.

Portugal promotes the creation of startups through the «Startup Visa», a hosting program for foreign investors who wish to develop new projects in Portugal. Applicants for startup residence visas must among other things: 

  • Have a real and effective interest in developing a new venture, such as the creation of innovation-based businesses;
  • Propose a project with the potential to create at least five jobs in its first 24 months; and
  • Have the support of a certified incubator.

In November 2018, Lisbon hosted the annual edition of the Web Summit, now the largest event for startups in the world. The Web Summit brought about 60.000 visitors and 2.250 companies from 170 countries to Portugal. 

The City of Lisbon secured the Web Summit for the next 10 years and created «Hub Criativo do Beato», a new business incubation project in the centre of Lisbon that will house innovative and technology-driven companies. Factory Berlin, one of Europe’s largest incubators, Mercedes-Benz and Web Summit are among the first companies to secure a place at Hub Criativo do Beato.

For further information about Portugal’s economy and key legal aspects visit our web platform «Why Portugal».

Portuguese Industrial Property Reform In response to the need of harmonizing the industrial property rules in the European Union (EU), Decree-Law 110/2018 of 10 December 2018 approved a new Industrial Property Code (New IP Code), implementing the EU Trademark Harmonization Directive (EU Directive 2015/2436) and the Trade Secrets Directive (EU Directive 2016/943).

The New IP Code’s rules on protection of trade secrets entered into force on 1 January 2019; the remaining provisions will enter into force on 1 July 2019.

As to the existing IP registration framework, the new rules do not introduce fundamental changes, albeit they have the merit of allowing easier access to the protection of industrial property rights by simplifying and clarifying the administrative procedures for obtaining, keeping and cancelling IP rights.

One of the main novelties of the New IP Code is the strengthening of know-how and trade secrets protection rules, which are now governed by a specific regime, and even more solid than the one provided for the Trade Secrets Directive.

The New IP Code comprehensively defines “trade secrets” and typifies the trade secrets infringements. Trade secret means information which meets all of the following requirements:

  • It is secret in the sense that it is not, as a body or in the precise configuration and assembly of its components, generally known among or readily accessible to persons within the circles that normally deal with the kind of information in question;
  • It has commercial value because it is secret; and
  • It has been subject of reasonable steps to be taken by the person lawfully in control of the information, to keep it secret.

The New IP Code also includes the following changes: (i) for disputes involving reference medicines and generic medicine, the parties have the option of initiating voluntary arbitration or filing the claim before the Intellectual Property Court, (ii) electronic communication means  are now available to contact with the National Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto Nacional de Propriedade Industrial) and (iii) the effectiveness of the fight means against industrial property infringements are reinforced at an European level.

It is foreseen that the new amendments, which have the merit of clarifying the industrial property regime, will constitute an incentive for technology businesses (start-ups) to develop their activity in Portugal.


The United States lead the World Economic Forum’s competitiveness global ranking, followed by Singapore and Germany. EU countries take half of the top 10 positions.

The World Economic Forum’s 2018 edition of «The Global Competitiveness Report» assesses the performance of 140 countries in 98 relevant topics divided in 12 different subjects, including, among others, infrastructure, health, financial system, market size, business dynamism and innovation capability.

For the first time since the financial crisis of 2008, the United States topped the global ranking, much due to the successful combination of an outstanding performance of its financial system with significant funds made available for venture capital and financing of SMEs (a leading 5.6 and 5.8 out of 7 in both indexes), fluid product and labour dynamics (with notable marks on HR practices and mobility) and the market size, second only to China.

Germany was 1st among the EU countries and 3rd in the global ranking. Singapore took the 2nd place. Switzerland and the Netherlands move down.

Portugal moves up from 42nd place in 2017 to 34th and from 18th to 16th in the ranking of EU countries.

EU countries kept half of the first 10 positions. The EU as a whole improved its performance with better rankings and additional Member-States in the top fifty economies.

China and India did not move up on the charts but added 0.9 and 1.2 points to their 2017 scores, respectively. There is still a substantial gap to the leaders in the innovation race, where China and India rank 24th and 31st respectively.

The EU, Portugal included, performed better in the WEF report, showing good results on improving the competitiveness of its economies, than in the World Bank’s «Doing Business 2019», where the EU is losing ground to emerging countries in the attraction of investors.

Portugal has its highest performance in the following pillars: Infrastructure, 19th, Health, 23rd, and Business dynamism, 27th.

The World Economic Forum points out the vulnerabilities of the small size of Portugal’s domestic market, which is an unavoidable fact that can only be compensated by a dynamic exporting economy, and Portugal’s fragile macro-economic stability, especially because of the debt dynamics where Portugal scores 70 points in 100, in line with Italy and ahead of Greece by almost 30 points. Portugal drops seven positions in the employment pillar Skills, but improves in half of the indexes related to the training of its workforce.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2018 highlights Portugal’s reputation as a jurisdiction with business dynamics and as the innovation hub in Southern Europe, leading the region in the growth of innovative companies, scoring 8.3 more points than Spain and 17.9 more than Greece.

Portugal improved significantly in the strength of institutions pillar, moving up 13 positions to 30th place.

Portugal achieves its best performance in crime-related incidences, 12th, road quality, 5th, electrification rate, 1st, inflation, 1st, and the prevalence of non-tariff barriers on product markets, 5th.

In total, Portugal scores 10.2 points above the average of all 140 economies. Portugal closed the gap to 12.4 points to the 10 most competitive economies.

For further information about Portugal’s economy and key legal aspects visit our web-platform «Why Portugal».

Together with the rules on processing of personal data set out by the Regulation 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 (GDPR), which has applied since May 25, 2018, the European Union (EU) establishes new rules on processing of non-personal data.

The European Parliament approved a new regulation – Regulation 2018/1807 of 14 November 2018 –, which seeks to promote free movement of non-personal electronic data within the EU where: (i) the data processing is provided as a service to users with residence or establishment in the EU, regardless of whether the service provider is established or not in the EU, or (Ii) the data processing is carried out, for own needs, by individuals or businesses in the EU.

But, after all, what does “non-personal data” mean? In contrast to "personal data", non-personal data is any information that does not refer to an identified or identifiable natural person (individuals). Examples of non-personal data include aggregate and anonymised datasets used for analysing large volumes of data in the current context of strong development of the Internet of things, Artificial Intelligence, autonomous systems and 5 G.

In order to enable the free movement of non-personal data in the EU, Member States are obliged to repeal all non-personal electronic data localisation requirements established in their local laws until May 30, 2021. If, however, this removal could be detrimental to public security, the Member State should consult the European Commission, which, after examination, may decide whether the Member-State shall keep (or not) the localisation requirements.

The rule will be, however, the free movement of non-personal electronic data in the EU, including data portability to professional users. This may be only limited or prohibited for justified public security reasons.

Considering that non-personal data and personal data may coexist, as there is no obligation to separately store these different types of data, the new regulation applies together with the GDPR. Thus, if, for example, technological developments make it possible to turn anonymised data into personal data, such data is personal data and the GDPR will apply.

This may raise new legal issues (and ethics), particularly where decisions are taken without human interaction, including, among others, issues concerning data access and reuse and the issue of liability along the entire value chain of data processing.

In the future, the European Commission will be in charge of drafting codes of conduct with best practices and information requirements in order to ensure full transparency and interoperability in the so-called “data economy and emerging technologies."


In recent years, Lisboa has become a popular city to visit. Since 2016, when the annual edition of the Web Summit, the largest startup event in the World, was hosted for the first time in Portugal. Lisbon  is now also a popular city for entrepreneurship, innovation, internationalization and financing of startups. In 2017, the Web Summit brought around 60,000 visitors and 2,250 companies from 170 different countries, and had an overall estimated impact of € 300,000,000 in the Portuguese economy.

The Portuguese Cabinet has approved (by its Resolution 149/2018 of 15 November) the agreement between the Portuguese State, the Municipality of Lisboa, the Portuguese SME support agency (IAPMEI) and Connected Intelligence Limited, the Web Summit organizer, to stage this event in Lisbon for 10 more years, from 2019 to 2028.

Alongside with the hosting of the event, The Portuguese tourism agency (Turismo de Portugal) and IAPMEI will provide to Connected Intelligence Limited a total of € 80,000,000 in 10 yearly instalments of € 8,000,000.

The Portuguese Economy Minister will monitor the organization of the Web Summit, to ensure that it promotes the image of Portugal and of the Portuguese companies abroad, it attracts high technological value investment and it leads to general national economic growth, as expected.