- It is now illegal for bosses to contact their employees after working hours in Portugal, AP reported.
- Employers must also pay for WFH expenses such as rising electricity and internet bills.
- Portugal’s ruling Socialist Party hopes the new labor laws will attract digital nomads.
Portugal passed a series of labor laws last week in an attempt to attract more digital nomads to the country, the Associated Press reported.
New protections for digital workers include fines for employers for calling workers after hours and forcing businesses to pay for work-from-home expenses such as the internet and electricity.
But not all labor laws proposed by Portugal have been approved. The “right to disconnect”, or the legal right to turn off work devices and messaging services after hours, has been overturned by Portuguese lawmakers.
Self-employed people and entrepreneurs are already taking advantage of Portugal’s new temporary resident visa. In February, the Portuguese islands of Madeira launched a “digital nomad village” with free WiFi and workstations.
The European nation isn’t the only country hoping to attract a virtual workforce, despite long-term tourist pressure on local infrastructure and frequent tax exemptions.
Tropical destinations such as Bermuda, Antigua and Costa Rica have announced plans to offer digital nomadic visas during the pandemic, which allow long-term stays of up to two years. European countries, including Croatia, Greece and Spain, also offer variants of virtual work visas.
The term “digital nomad” has grown so popular over the past year that Merriam-Webster added it to the dictionary at the end of October.
The number of digital nomads – now officially defined as someone who plies their profession entirely on the Internet while traveling – has jumped almost 50% in 2020. About 11 million Americans now identify as digital nomads, and more than half are traditional full-time employees who “We decided to do their jobs on the road,” Insider’s David Kushner reported.
“We see Portugal as one of the best places in the world for these digital nomads and remote workers to choose to live, we want to attract them to Portugal”, said Ana Mendes Godinho, Portuguese Minister of Labor and Security social, at the recent Web Summit Conference in Lisbon. “The pandemic has accelerated the need to regulate what needs to be regulated. “