Changes to the Parentality regime: what about parental leave?

The Portuguese Parliament approved changes to the Labour Code by implementing the «Decent Work Agenda». The changes will come into force on 1st of April 2023.
Articles 09/03/2023

Parental leave is a right granted to fathers and mothers so that they can stay at home for a certain period, after or before the birth of a child, to provide the necessary care.

One planned change is that after taking 120 consecutive days of initial parental leave, workers can cumulate the remainder of the license with part-time work, with each day of cumulation counting as half a day to determine the maximum duration of the leave. The working period applicable during this overlapping will be half the average.

The duration of the period in which the mother is obliged to take parental leave is now counted in days (instead of the previous six weeks foreseen in the law), and the mother must take at least 42 consecutive days following childbirth.

As regards the rights of the father, the period to be taken by the fathers was changed from the current 20 working days to 28 days of leave, consecutive or in interspersed periods of at least seven days, in the 42 days following the birth of the child, seven of which must be taken consecutively immediately after the birth.

An inattentive reader might think this measure implies a necessary increase in leave days from 20 to 28. Still, in certain situations, the change to 28 non-working days may mean a reduction in the father’s total leave period. For example, if we consider months with several public holidays, this can effectively imply a reduction of days since the leave will overlap with rest days and will not consider the public holiday.It is now also possible, already at the level of complementary parental leave, for parents to work part-time for three months, provided that the leave is exercised in its totality by each of the parents.

Regarding complementary parental leave, it is now also possible for parents to work part-time for three months, provided each parent exercises the leave in total.

The content of this information does not constitute any specific legal advice; the latter can only be given when faced with a specific case. Please contact us for any further clarification or information deemed necessary in what concerns the application of the law.


  • Stéfanie Luz Associate Lawyer
    Team Leader - Family and Succession Law Department
  • Miguel Magalhães

Practice Areas

  • Family and Inheritance