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Newsletter January 2020

Legal Updates

Labour law amended in the sense of parenting protection

Last September 4th, the Law nº 90/2019 was published, which reinforces the parenting protection by altering the Portuguese Labour Code and the Decree-Law nº 91/2009, of April 9th, concerning the parenting social protection.

This law introduced several amendments, including: the increase of the father’s parenting license for a mandatory period of 20 week days, consecutive or interpolated, to be enjoyed within six weeks of child birth and the requirement of a communication duty in case of breach of contract during the trial period. This requirement of communication is also applicable in case of non-renewal of a pregnant, puerperal or nursing woman’s fixed-term contract, or of any worker enjoying his parenting license.

The main changes introduced by the mentioned law have come into effect since the past October 4th. Other changes, such as the one related with the parenting license, will only enter into force with the 2020 State Budget.

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Legal heir and the possibility of resignation by prenuptial agreement – 1 year later

The law nº 48/2018, of August 14th, allowed for the possibility to waive the condition of legal heir by prenuptial agreement. One year after this amendment was introduced into the Portuguese Civil Law Code, it is our best opinion that this was a significant alteration, particularly in what family and succession law are concerned and within the scope of the several reforms to this piece of legislation.

Furthermore, in order to waive the legal heir’s condition, the prevailing matrimonial property scheme should be the separate property regime, which under the Portuguese material law, cannot be altered, only with a few exceptions, due to the prenuptial immutability principle.  This waiver shall be made expressly and be reciprocal. The spouse is also allowed to condition his/her waiver to specific factors, such the existence of successors, in other words, descendants and ascendants who may succeed as heirs.

We should note that, this waiver does not undermine the remaining rights of the spouse who has resigned from the right of his/her legal share of the inheritance, his/her right to maintenance and death claims and, also, under certain conditions, his/her family residence rights.

The importance of this amendment is essentially related with the freedom granted to the spouses, as they are no longer obliged to become legal heirs upon marrying.

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Business Updates

APS proposes an 8 billion euros seismic fund

The climate changes and the correspondent damages are one of the most current concerns of Insurance companies. These concerns resulted in a proposal to the Portuguese government by APS (Portuguese Insurance Companies Association) for the creation of an 8 Billion euros seismic fund, which would be able to finance the repairing of a disaster situation in our country.

Recently, economical damages are taking place due to fires, floods and adverse weather conditions. As these episodes increase, the risk factor decreases, which may translate into either an assumption of responsibility by all, or insurable assets that are no longer therefore considered. This growth of such occurrences is giving rise to a special concern to the Insurance Companies, which are aware that mechanisms and funds are needed to ensure that the damages caused by these occurrences are repaired. Alongside with the creation of the funds, the Insurers’ actions will include the delimitation of insurable and uninsurable assets due to damages caused by climatic disasters.

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Real estate project’s european funding support

Almada’s City Hall in partnership with the Institute of Housing and Urban Renewal (IHUR) intend to implement a construction project of 3.600 houses with affordable rents.

Aiming this effect, a joint application for European Funds through the Program “Innovative Urban Actions” was submitted by these two entities.

Throughout this program, the European Union will provide resources with a global value of 372 million euros, in order to finance these innovative projects through the European Regional Development Fund.

This Habitational Program will be located in lands owned by the Institute of Housing and Urban Renewal, in Almada, with great access and only 15 minutes away from Lisbon.

The first stage of this project will have 1.097 houses, corresponding to an investment of 125 million euros and for its early stage 284 apartments T2 are foreseen.

Almada´s City Hall will also move forward with the construction of a residential unit for elderly people with community services, in lands transferred by the IHUR. This is an expanding business area in Portugal, given the increase in immigration to enjoy retirement in Portugal and the increase in average life expectancy, which requires new services and amenities adjusted to the public of a higher age group.

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