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Newsletter March 2019

Legal Updates

Amendments to the renting laws in the civil code

Landlords are once again jeopardised with the new legislative changes, especially lease agreements for habitation purposes.

By virtue of Law n. 13/2019, of 12th February, having entered into force, lease agreements have once again legally established duration limits, with the minimum limit being of one year and the maximum of thirty years. Except when otherwise stated, the renewal of the agreement will be automatic for periods equal to the duration of the same or, alternatively, for three years, in the case where the duration of the agreement is inferior to such period. The opposition to the renewal by the landlord can only be executed after three years have passed since the conclusion of the agreement, with the same remaining in force until that date.

Another amendment is related to the compensation that the landlord will have the right to demand when the tenant has outstanding rents. While the previous regime determined that landlords had the right to a compensation equivalent to 50% of the number of rents due, now landlords are only entitled to 20% of such amount.

The amendments introduced in the Civil Code are many, with these being maybe the ones with greater impact.

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Employment quotas for disabled people

The new law aiming to favour a larger integration of disabled people in the labour market is already in force. Law n. 4/2019, of 10 January, establishes the quotas for hiring disabled people, with a disability degree equal or superior to 60%. These quotas should be complied by employers from the private and public sectors with more than 75 employees.

Except in cases expressly provided for, medium size companies (with 75 or more employees) should employ disabled workers in a proportion of at least 1% of their employees, while large companies (with 250 or more employees) should employ disabled workers in a proportion of at least 2% of their employed personnel. There will be a transitional period for each of these situations, of 4 and 5 years, respectively. Notwithstanding, from 1st January 2020 onwards, companies should guarantee that, in each calendar year, at least 1% of their annual hiring is destined to disabled people.

The failure to comply with these minimum quotas represents a serious administrative offence and may implicate the application of a fine in an amount ranging from €612.00 to €9,690.00.

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Business Updates

Companies profit from the implementation of artificial intelligence

A study conducted worldwide announces that 9 out of 10 companies are resourcing to Artificial Intelligence (AI) in order to improve customer service.

According to the report published by the MIT Technology Review Insights, in which the manner companies use AI when in contact with their costumers, the resulting negotiating performance and the return on investment are analysed. The use of AI increases drastically the efficiency, the processing velocity and the volume of transactions in relations with consumers.

Therefore, for instance, the use of Instant Messaging channels, self-service systems and satisfaction analysis after rendering a service (in order to personalize it), seem to strengthen ties with the costumers and, at the same time, allow for the companies’ collaborators to focus more on the execution of more complex and demanding tasks.

Through the implementation of AI, 70% of the inquired are quoted as having a revenue increase, and more than half of those state having a global growth superior to 5%. Notwithstanding, Portugal continues, at the moment, behind the European average in the implementation of AI, with 45% of the national companies not having yet adopted this type of technology, in contrast to the European average (of 29%).

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“Startup Voucher” continues to support entrepreneurship

The 2nd edition of the “StartUP Voucher” has begun. This programme set up by the Portuguese Government aims to support young entrepreneurship, after having had a 1st edition where 409 scholarships were assigned, and from which 44 new companies were created.

In particular, this programme aims to support the entrepreneurship of people aged between 18 and 35 years old, through diverse instruments, and over a minimum period of 4 months and a maximum of 12. In this 2nd edition, the selection of the winning projects was announced at the end of 2018, with their execution phase having just started.

“StartUP Voucher” predicts the granting of a monthly scholarship of €691.70 for the development of a business plan, access to mentoring and monitoring services, as well as the attribution of an intermediate evaluation prize of €1,500.00 and an execution prize of €2,000.00, for the incorporation of a company, as long as the two intermediary evaluations are completed with a positive grade and the remaining deadline requirements are fulfilled.

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