Speaking to Lusa, the executive president of Hospitality Association of Portugal (AHP) considered that an interruption in the process of legislative simplification, which is under discussion with the current Executive, would represent “an inexplicable delay that would harm the country's economy and companies”.

“Right now, the law on hiring foreigners is highly complex”, said Cristina Siza Vieira, adding that in the meetings with the Government “some elements were pointed out that would be changed in order to simplify these procedures”.

For AHP, hiring abroad is one of the solutions for the shortage of workers in the hotel and tourism sector and, in this sense, the association will hold a clarification session on “subordinate work visas” including the participation of the the Directorate -General for Consular Affairs and Portuguese Communities (DGACCP).

The initiative takes place after AHP met, at the end of last year, with the Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities on the current legal framework for hiring foreigners. At these meetings, the mobility agreement with the CPLP – Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries, which is awaiting ratification, was also discussed, a process that stalled with the convening of early legislative elections.

“With the fall of the Assembly of the Republic and the new elections, it will have to wait for the passage of these portfolios to understand how this framework will be done, namely the issue of ratification of the agreement with the CPLP”, said Cristina Siza Vieira. The executive president of AHP said that since 2019, the association has been warning of the shortage of workers in the sector, indicating that the pandemic has exacerbated the problem.

In November, the president of AHP, Raul Martins, said in an interview with the Público newspaper that an attempt is being made to “create labour import flows with specific countries, from the outset with those that form the CPLP” to fill the shortage of workers in the sector, but highlighted constraints.

In October last year the president of Vila Galé told Lusa that the group continued to struggle with the lack of human resources in hotels, construction and agriculture, and is planning to hire 300 young people looking for their first job and bring 150 workers from Brazil, but that for that it would be necessary to work with the Ministries of Economy and Labour.