The truth is that, according to the Labour Code, companies have the obligation to guarantee continuous professional training to their workers, otherwise they may suffer penalties.

Fortunately Portugal has more and more good professionals, qualified and with great skills. However, this does not mean that constant training can be dispensed with, quite the contrary.

We live in a world in constant evolution and, as such, training is fundamental so that we can adapt to the new market demands, deepen our professional skills which, consequently, will make us perform our functions and activities with greater efficiency, increasing the company’s productivity and competitiveness.

What are the objectives of continuing vocational training?

  • The Labour Code, article 130, determines that vocational training has several objectives, such as:
  • To guarantee the continuous training of its workers;
  • To give initial qualification to young people that enter the labour market without this same training;
  • To boost the qualification or professional reconversion of workers at risk of unemployment;
  • Promote the professional rehabilitation of disabled workers, especially those whose incapacity results from a work accident;
  • To promote the socio-professional integration of workers belonging to groups with particular integration difficulties.


The area of training should be determined with an agreement between both parties, and the main focus should be related to the main activity provided by the worker. However, if this is not the case, subjects such as health and safety at work, information technologies or foreign language training can be dealt with.

The employer’s role

Currently the law stipulates that all entities should guarantee 40 hours of training per year to at least 10% of their employees. In the case of employees with contracts lasting 3 months or more, the number of hours of training required per year is proportional to the length of the contract established.

The right and duty of the employee to acquire new knowledge and skills should ideally be exercised during the stipulated working hours, however, the company may plan vocational training actions outside working hours or even during holidays. This means that, if the training does not exceed two hours of work, it is paid at the normal rate. However, if it exceeds two hours, it should be paid according to the rules of overtime work.


Who has the obligation to provide training?

The company, more specifically the Human Resources Manager of the company, has the obligation to guarantee the training plans, allowing the employee to reach higher levels of profitability and productivity, aligning its development with the objectives of the organisation and promoting team spirit.

It is the employer’s responsibility to bear the costs related to the employee’s training, such as travel expenses if applicable.


The role of employees

It is important that you understand that the hours spent in training will not be deducted from your salary. Remember that the law foresees the obligation of continuous professional training in the workplace, so the 40 hours per year are remunerated as normal work periods.

Can workers refuse training?

Just as companies are legally obliged to provide vocational training, workers are also required by law to participate in it.



In the specific case of working students, according to article 131 of the Labour Code, the 40 hours of continuous vocational training can be applied to the periods in which the worker misses work in order to attend the respective classes.


What happens if the company does not provide the training?

If the company does not guarantee the worker continuous professional training, within a period of up to two years, in addition to committing a serious offence and disrespecting the labour law in force, it is obliged to compensate the worker.
In this compensation the hours are converted into time credit. If after two years the situation is the same, the employee can use this same credit in external training actions. In order to do so he only has to communicate his intention to the employer, in writing, at least ten days in advance.

If the employee terminates the contract before using the credit, they are entitled to receive
a cash compensation for the missing hours of training.


The Authority for Working Conditions (ACT) is the supervisory entity responsible and is therefore entitled to apply fines if it finds that the law is not being complied with.