I currently work in Portugal, and in this country, every full-time employee has 22 paid vacation days by law. The labor laws on this country also state that, of those 22 days, at least 10 of them must be consecutive work days (weekends, holidays, etc, don't count). Is it like this in other countries? Do other countries labor legislation also enforce employees to spend at least 10 consecutive work days of their paid vacations?

  • Do you mean that a worker is only eligible for 22 paid vacation days if at least ten of the days of vacation are taken consecutively? – feetwet Apr 12 '16 at 16:00
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    No, each worker is eligible for 22 paid vacations and is mandatory that the worker spends 10 consecutive days (work days) of those 22 days (in that year). – lalalalalala Apr 12 '16 at 16:38
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    Are you sure that you have to take two consecutive weeks or is it that your employer has to give you the chance to take two consecutive weeks if you want them? The second is the law in Germany. – YviDe Apr 12 '16 at 16:41
  • Are you sure this is a country-wide law? If so, can you provide a link to it, or an authoritative description? I have seen mandatory consecutive vacation policies in certain industries and for certain personnel for specific reasons (usually to mitigate the risks of ongoing employee malfeasance). But I can't imagine a reason for it to apply to all employees in country. – feetwet Apr 12 '16 at 16:41
  • Yes, I am 100% sure that this is a nation-wide law, as much ridiculous as it sounds. Each worker must take at least 10 consecutive work days per year. – lalalalalala Apr 12 '16 at 16:48

The law you cite (Article 241.8) appears to be a requirement on the employer that the employee be allowed at least 10 consecutive work days if desired.

As mentioned in the comments to your question:

  • There are employers who for various reasons implement mandatory vacation policies that require some vacation to be taken every year, and in some minimum consecutive unit.
  • There are countries that require employers to give employees reasonable accommodations to take vacation, e.g., by requiring a consecutive period if requested.

It looks like that law is saying the latter, but it's possible your employer has added the former.

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    I don't see anything in the Portuguese law that supports the reading of "allowed" and "if desired." It says that employer/employee agreements are subject to the requirement that at least 10 consecutive days be taken. There's no provision saying that the employee can waive that requirement. Your answer appears to be based on your opinion about what is normal in labor legislation, not in any knowledge of Portuguese law or labor regulations. – phoog Apr 13 '16 at 2:23
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    How about "desde que sejam gozados, no mínimo, 10 dias úteis consecutivos"? – phoog Apr 13 '16 at 3:25
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    @lalalalalala well it's just as feetwet says in must countries. Most countries don't make any requirement about consecutive days, and this that do, like Germany, put requirements on the employer that may be waived by the employee. But I say that based on my opinion about what is normal in labor legislation, not on any knowledge of any country's actual laws. ;-). – phoog Apr 13 '16 at 11:30
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    Feetwet: I suppose the inability of the employee to waive the requirement is supposed to prevent employers from putting pressure on their employees "off the books" to waive the requirement. Certainly in the US it is common to hear of managers or employers who frown on people who use all of their vacation days. – phoog Apr 13 '16 at 11:33
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    It is a good idea to look at regulations implementing the law. On the other side of it, it might be that the reason for the apparent global application of the law (as reported by @lalalalalala) is that a court has interpreted the law in that way (despite your very reasonable explanation for why the article shouldn't be interpreted like that). So it might also be necessary to look at related court decisions. – phoog Apr 13 '16 at 13:40

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