Having a child: Parental leave in Portugal
In Portugal, after the birth or adoption of a child, the mother and father are both entitled to parental leave.
Parental leave is covered under social security and compensates for the salary not received during the period when the parents are not working.
There are two types of parental leave: initial and extended. The initial period, which may be up to 150 days, includes the mandatory and exclusive periods for both the father and the mother. Extended parental leave lasts for an additional three months.
On this page, you will find information about:
Initial parental leave lasts for up to 120 or 150 consecutive days and includes both maternity leave and paternity leave. In addition to this number of days, a further 30 days may be added in the following cases:
- shared parental leave, where the mother and father opt to share the initial leave individually, i.e. not at the same time;
- if you have twins, an additional 30 days is granted for the birth of the twin
If parents opt to take 120 days of parental leave, Social Security will cover a parental allowance corresponding to 100% of the reference income (the average of all earnings – gross salary – declared to social security in the first 6 the most recent 8 months preceding the month in which the leave begins).
If parents opt to take 150 days of parental leave, SS will cover a parental allowance corresponding to 80% of the reference income.
Find out more about the parental allowance.
Find out how the period of initial parental leave can be increased where babies are born prematurely or need hospitalisation in the Practical Guide to the Parental Allowance from the Social Security Institute.
Mothers may take up to 30 days’ voluntary leave before the birth, and 42 days (6 weeks) of compulsory leave after the birth.
These two periods form part of the initial parental leave, which can last up to a total of 120 or 150 days.
Find out more about the initial maternity leave allowance.
Fathers are entitled to 28 days’ leave, taken consecutively or non-consecutively, with at least 7 of these after the baby’s birth. The first 7 days must be taken consecutively and immediately after the birth. The remaining 21 days must be taken within 6 weeks (42 days) of the birth.
Fathers are also entitled to a further 7 working days of voluntary leave, taken consecutively or non-consecutively, taken at the same time as the mother.
Find out more information about initial paternity leave allowance.
If the parents opt to share the initial parental leave, and each parent individually takes one period of 30 consecutive days (not at the same time), or two separate periods of 15 consecutive days after the mother’s compulsory leave of 6 weeks, an additional 30 days will be added to the initial 120 or 150-day period.
The 30 additional days may be taken individually by only one of the parents, or both parents may take 15 days at the same time, with a further 15 days for the mother or father only.
If the duration of the leave is 120 + 30 days, the parental allowance covered by social security will correspond to 100% of the reference income.
If the leave lasts 150 + 30 days, the parental allowance paid by social security will correspond to 83% of the reference income. The initial parental allowance will be increased from 83% to 90% of income where the father takes 60 days’ paternity leave.
If the parents opt for initial parental leave of more than 120 days, i.e. if they decide to take 150 or 180 days, they can, after the first 120 days, combine the remaining days of leave with part-time work. The additional 30 days will always be the final period of the leave, whether it is taken only by one parent or shared by both.
Initial parental leave may be extended by up to 3 months for the father and for the mother. Extended parental leave must be taken immediately after the initial parental leave.
In such cases, social security will cover an allowance equal to 25% of the reference income. If parental responsibilities are shared during the leave, the allowance will increase from 25% to 40%.
Find out more about how to apply for the extended parental leave allowance.
Further information on the criteria for accessing the extended parental allowance can be found in the Practical Guide to the Extended Parental Allowance from the Social Security Institute.
When the mother or father, or both, are under the age of 18, it may be necessary for another person to take on the rights and obligations relating to the baby and their property (parental responsibility).
In such cases, the local district’s public prosecution office at the Family and Minors Division should be contacted.
When a pregnancy ends in miscarriage, and where no leave for miscarriage exists, the employee is entitled to absence for pregnancy loss for up to 3 consecutive days. The father may also take this leave.
When one of the parents is under 16 years old, working grandparents living with the baby are entitled to a period of leave of up to 30 consecutive days after the birth. This leave may be shared between the grandparents.
The grandchild care allowance corresponds to 100% of the reference remuneration.
Find out how to apply for the grandchild care allowance.
More information on the Social Security website.
Information updated on July 26, 2023