According to CNN Portugal, from the 1 May workers no longer have to go to the doctor to ask for short-term sick leave (up to three days) as a self-declaration is enough to justify their absence.

As is already the case in several European countries, the responsibility for justifying absence from work due to illness becomes the responsibility of the worker. The worker may request the SNS 24 to issue a valid declaration to present to the employer and justify absences up to three consecutive days.

There will be three ways to request a self-declaration which includes: the personal area of the SNS 24 Portal, in the SNS 24 App and via the SNS Line 24 (808 24 24 24).

What to do at the end of the three days if you are still sick?

If at the end of the three days the worker is still sick they must go see a doctor at their local Health Centre on the fourth day so that they can attest to whether or not they need a new Certificate of Temporary Incapacity.

Considering that three days have already been used, without remuneration, with the self-declaration, the next low – regardless of the days – will be paid in full (according to the percentages already provided for in the law).

This declaration can only be used twice a year, with a limit of six days a year.

It is important to note that the worker will need to notify the employer of the absence by providing him with the access code he received through SMS or e-mail following the issuance of the self-declaration, explained the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health (SPMS) to the newspaper Público.

If the employer wants to "confirm the validity of the self-declaration", they can access the SNS 24 portal "and confirm that it is valid" by filling in their data.

Additionally, any sick leave is paid from the fourth day. That is, currently, if a worker misses three days with a justification passed by a doctor, the company discounts those days, the absences are justified, but Social Security does not make any payment.

Even when it is a medical leave that provides for a longer absence from work (five, six, ten days), there is always the discount of the first three days. For example, in a five-day absence, Social Security only guarantees payment for two days.

It is expected that the measure will alleviate the bureaucratic workload of doctors, since it is estimated that, per year, about 600 thousand appointments are scheduled for the issuance of temporary incapacity for work in the period up to three days.