According to specialists in labour legislation, as of 17 May, if nothing changes by then, the remote working rules will no longer be in force under the current state of calamity and the rules of Decree-Law 79-A / 2020 will become valid, a diploma which was applied last year and earlier this year, which has now been extended by the Government until 31 December.

"As of May 17, Decree-Law 79-A will come into force again, since it has not been derogated until now", labour lawyer Pedro da Quitéria Faria, from Antas da Cunha ECIJA, told Lusa.

Labour lawyer Nuno Ferreira Morgado, from PLMJ, also says that if the Government decides not to maintain the norm that establishes mandatory teleworking throughout the country until 16 May, "the rule of Decree-Law 79-A is valid that makes mandatory teleworking dependent on the municipality's risk rating ".

In addition, remote working becomes mandatory only in companies with 50 or more workers, located in territories where the epidemiological situation justifies it, added the lawyers.

According to the diploma, in these cases teleworking is mandatory "regardless of the employment relationship, whenever the functions in question permit and the worker has conditions to exercise them, without the need for a written agreement between the employer and the worker".

In high risk municipalities, if the employer refuses remote working, they will have to substantiate this decision, and the worker may appeal to the Authority for Working Conditions (ACT) if he does not agree.

The lawyer stresses, however, that some caution is needed in the statements, since the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, "the legislative interpretations have been altered as there is communication from the political point of view".

"They have no legislative effect as such, but they often have a practical effect", warned Pedro da Quitéria Faria.