This results as follows with 14 monthly salaries with 11 months of work. This means you pay Christmas bonus (one salary), holiday pay (one salary) and holidays of 24 days a year. That's why I always say: 11 months of work and 14 months of salary. But you also have to be honest with an average salary of 1000 euros per month and thus an annual salary net of 14,000 euros, you can't complain about it as an employer. Nevertheless, there is still a catch that you do not see at first glance and that is the additional costs such as:

+ Social security 23.75 % = 3,325 euros per year

+ Meal allowance per day of 4.77 Euro times 22 days a month = 104.94, multiplied by 11 months is 1.154,34 Euro

+ Occupational safety 140 Euro per year

+ Hygiene and safety at the workplace another 100 euros per year

+ a training fee of 350 euros per year.

As a result, an average worker in Portugal costs me 19,069.34 euros in the year and thus 1,589.11 euros per month.

If I now illuminate the German average wage situation in comparison, I come to the following figures: With a net average wage of 2,265 euros per month, I usually have a gross wage of 3,352 euros, with which the 21% employer social benefits are added. In this case, this would mean another 703.92 euros on the gross salary. Thus, the employer in Germany spends total costs per month for an average employee of 4,055.92 euros. At 12 months, this is 48,671.04 euros. This raises the question again: Where is it better to work and live with a lower salary and more complicated payroll in Portugal or better with twice the salary, higher cost of living and climate in Germany? Now I can think of only one thing: "Some call it a disadvantage, others simply call it: "That's part of it!"

But where I want to go with it all is that although Portugal is beautiful in terms of the weather and the people, you must not be under the illusion that it is easy to live and work here. Nevertheless, it is still one of the countries in Europe where you can make a difference if you are used to being a "doer" and do not indulge in the idea that you are now the savior and no one "can hold a candle". Because then the trip and the stay in Portugal will be very short, because we have already seen many of them come and go here. It is also important for all those who make the decision to come to Portugal to live here, that you inform yourself in advance how everything works, because the bureaucracy has had its headquarters here for a long time and does not always work like clockwork. But there are many technical tools such as apps and portals with which you can do a lot from home. Of course, if you know how it works and of course you can speak the Portuguese language.

Because when I go to a German tax official in Hamburg, I also know that I cannot speak English with him, because English is not the official language. But - and most people forget this - when you are at the Office: the legal responsibility of a civil servant to the legislator when he processes legal directives and applications and does so in a foreign language and not the official language. The same applies in Portugal, but here we usually have one or the other official who agrees to explain things in English. But here, too, you have to be able to understand and speak the English language and not go to an office with broken English, but possibly have an interpreter with you.

It was important to me to shed light on the matter from this side, because all too often I see in German forums on social networks how people complain that it always takes so long at the offices in Portugal and that nobody speaks German. We are actually very dependent on tourism in Portugal but the official language is Portuguese, but as I said, there are many Portuguese who speak German and who are always helpful. It only takes an "Obrigado" or "Obrigada" and then you have already conjured up a smile.


Paulo Lopes is a multi-talent Portuguese citizen who made his Master of Economics in Switzerland and studied law at Lusófona in Lisbon - CEO of Casaiberia in Lisbon and Algarve.

Paulo Lopes