The new Equal Remuneration Law under review

Portugal promotes equal pay through the creation of a specific law. But what is new in this law that has just come into force? Dália Cardadeiro and Beatriz Correia Mendes, from BAS, explain.

Eight months after its approval, on February 21 of 2019, Law 60/2018 of August 21 came into force, which established measures to promote equal pay for women and men for equal work or of equal value.

In addition to the legislative changes brought about by Law 10/2001, of May 21, Law 105/2009, of September 14 and by Decree – law 76/2012, of 26 March, the following new features can be highlighted:


In the first half of the calendar year, the ministerial service responsible for labour shall provide statistical information on the general and sectoral barometer of pay differences between women and men and on the numbers on the remuneration differences between women and men by company, profession and levels under the provisions of article 3 of the new law.


The employer shall ensure the existence of a salary transparency policy, based on job description and job evaluation using objective criteria, common to men and women, in accordance with article 31 of the Labour Code, so as to avoid remuneration discriminatory practices, moreover that unjustified remuneration differences are presumed to be discriminatory and in case of claim of remuneration discrimination, the company has to show that it has a transparent remuneration policy.


If a difference in remuneration is detected, the Employment Conditions Authority (“ACT”) shall notify the employer to present a plan for the evaluation of the same on the basis of a report sent by the responsible ministerial service within 120 days from that notification.


The Committee on Equality in Labour and Employment shall be empowered to issue an opinion on the existence of gender-based discrimination on the basis of a worker’s or union representative’s request, in accordance with Article 6 of that law.


The courts shall immediately communicate to the CITE final judgments on grounds of sex-based remuneration, in accordance with the provisions of article 9.

In this way, Portugal became part of the group of countries, including Iceland as a pioneer country, which decided to approve a specific law on remuneration discrimination that includes mechanisms for information, evaluation and correction as vectors of effectiveness of the principle of equal pay for equal work of equal value.

In order to achieve good remuneration equality, it will be necessary to adopt an efficient dynamic between this new legal framework and the organizational practices to be adopted by companies on this question.

by Dália CardadeiroBeatriz Correia Mendes

More in Communication