Social Security – employers’ rights and obligations in Portugal

Registering as an employer

Employers in Portugal have rights and obligations with respect to Social Security, so you are required to register with this body. This is done when you form a company. When registering with Social Security, the business owner will automatically obtain an 11-digit Social Security Identification Number (Número de Identificação de Segurança Social, NISS).

Find out how employers can register with Social Security.

Taking on workers

Companies, employers of agricultural workers, home service employers, private social solidarity institutions and mutual associations are obliged to notify Social Security when they take on workers. Notification must be submitted within the 24 hours before the employment contract takes effect.

Find out how you can notify Social Security that you have taken on workers.

Calculation and payment of contributions

Employers are required to make social security contributions.

  • As a general rule, the contributions due are calculated by applying a contribution rate to the gross remuneration payable based on the employee’s professional activity (assessment basis).
  • For specific groups, contributions are calculated by applying a contribution rate to conventional tax bases determined by reference to the value of the of Social Support Index (IAS).

Employers are also responsible for paying contributions from employees.

Find out how to calculate and pay social security contributions.

NB: If your employer is not respecting your rights and working conditions, you can file a claim to the Work Conditions Authority (ACT).

Amendment and termination of contracts

In the event of termination and suspension of an employment contract, an employer must report the event by the 10th of the following month, giving reasons. Notification is sent via the Social Security Direct portal, where duly completed form No RV1009-DGSS should be submitted. This form can be obtained from the Social Security Portal. You can also submit the form on paper to a Social Security office.

Changes to the form of the employment contract should also be notified by the 10th of the following month.

Portuguese legislation prohibits unjustified dismissal or dismissal on political or ideological grounds. An employment contract may therefore be terminated on the following grounds:

  • expiry
  • cancellation
  • dismissal due to faults attributable to the worker
  • collective dismissal
  • dismissal due to redundancy
  • dismissal due to unsuitability
  • termination by the worker
  • complaint by the worker

Termination of a contract may occur as a result of the expiry of the contract, the inability of an employee to perform their work or the employer to receive it, or due to retirement on grounds of old age or disability.

Cancellation of a contract refers to cases where an employment contract is terminated by agreement between the parties.

In the event of termination of a contract, an employer is required to provide the following documents to the employee:

  • certificate of employment, with dates of admission and termination, as well as the position(s) held
  • other documents intended for official purposes which the employer must issue upon request

Employers can learn more about employment relationships at the Working Conditions Authority (Autoridade para as Condições do Trabalho, ACT).

Contacts for assistance

If you need more information, you should contact Social Security Institute.