Collective Agreement Clause

The generic term refers to agreements between trade unions and employers or employers` organisations (see the capacity of the collective agreement) to regulate both individual and direct employment relations between the signatory parties (see below, content). The Portuguese Constitution lays the foundations for the legal institutionalisation of collective bargaining in order to confer on trade unions the competence to exercise the right to bargain (Article 56(3)(4)). The normative effects of collective agreements are expressly recognized by law (article 12 of the Employment Contracts Act), which places them among the legal sources of employment contracts (see sources of labour law). Therefore, the provisions of the collective agreements apply directly to the various employment relationships and replace all contractual conditions that are less favourable to the workers concerned. Portuguese law distinguishes between three types of collective agreements, depending on the type of signatories of the employer (Article 2, Law on Collective Labour Relations): association agreements negotiated by employers` organizations; multi-employer agreements negotiated by a number of employers who, whether or not they are members of employers` organisations, do not act through an association to negotiate the agreement in question; and company-level agreements negotiated by a single employer. This distinction is used by law to resolve specific cases of conflict between collective agreements (see also collective bargaining: level of collective agreements, instruments of collective labour regulation). Another legal distinction, based on the different nature of the scope of collective agreements, is defined in horizontal and vertical agreements (see below). Many agreements contain clauses relating to working time. These clauses also deal with different shiftwork schemes, leisure arrangements for meals, break time rules, payment, leave provisions and related details.

Content Collective agreements can in principle deal with all matters relating to the collective autonomy of the social partners. .

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