The reform of the employment contract of sports practitioners

What has changed in the sports employment contract with the latest legal reform? A reflection on this topic was the contribution of lawyer Pedro Madeira de Brito as speaker at the 5th Congress of Sports Law held in early June in Lisbon, organised by Almedina.

The theme was on the agenda. Precisely a few days earlier, the parliament had approved the Legal Framework of the Employment Contract of the sports practitioner and the sports training contract (new Sports Employment Law that repealed Law 29/98 of June 26). Although there were no major changes at the structural level, the document introduced some important changes

Before stating and reflecting on the main changes and innovations of the new Law, Pedro Madeira de Brito highlighted the special nature of the employment contract of the sports practitioner. Whatever the sport, this is an activity in which there […] are risks of major wear and tear to the body, so the sportsman has a natural time limit to practice it, which structures its legal regime.


Features and innovations

After summarizing the context, the speaker highlighted the main features of the special framework of the employment contract of the sports practitioner, which is always concluded on a fix-term basis, obeys the written form as all special employment contracts, requires registration of these contracts in the respective federations, has its own rules concerning work hours, entails special rights and duties and has special rules on the loan and transfer of these workers which limits their freedom of work.

Of the specifics, the lawyer pointed out the need to coordinate the work side with the sporting side. There is a third party intervention in the hiring process (the sports agent) that removes the natural imbalance between the worker and the employer

Among the main innovations introduced by Draft Law 168 / XIII, which approved the legal framework of the employment contract of the sports practitioner, the sports training contract and the representation or intermediation contract, the following stand out:

  • It looks at the sports agents independently and regulates the contract of representation or sports intermediation.
  • Regulates the so-called “Termination Clauses”, introducing clarifications and regime changes.
  • It provides for an intermediate contractual category between the employment contract of sports practitioner and the sports training contract to be established by IRCT
  • Establishes a special contractual nullity with a regime of against fraud (Article 42)

Pedro Madeira de Brito leads the BAS team that provides legal advice to all those who participate in this phenomenon of Sports Law, whether athletes, clubs, sports companies, intermediaries or companies in the field of sport, in the various aspects, namely, elaboration and negotiation of sports employment contracts, agency and sponsorship; general advice to sports clubs; litigation of a sporting nature.

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