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PORTUGAL - Manual for prevention and combat harassment at the workplace

August 18th 2014


At the beginning of 2012 CITE - Commission for Equality in Labour and Employment, represented by its President, started to coordinate a tripartite working group within its tripartite commission, comprised of representatives of the social partners, of the Secretary of State for Public Administration and the Secretary of State for Equality, Labour Inspectorate (ACT), Directorate General for Employment and Labour Relations (DGERT) and Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG), with the goal of designing a manual for prevention and combat harassment at the workplace, targeting companies.

The working group met six times over 12 months. CITE assumed the responsibility of being the working group rapporteur.

The working methodology was divided into several phases:

  • Study of Community legislation;
  • Study of national legislation;
  • Study of comparative law;
  • Analysis of international good practices;
  • Preparation of a proposal;
  • Discussion of the proposal;
  • Vote on the motion.

The manual for prevention and combat harassment at the workplace, its structure and contents having been agreed between all parties, was put to vote and approved, in March 2013, by majority although the social partners representing the employers voted against it.

CITE’s structure, which is of tripartite and equilateral composition, ensures the independence of its decisions because all members have the right to vote and each vote is of equal worth.

The manual for prevention and combat harassment at the workplace is a guide of self-regulative nature, and may be used as guidance to companies wishing to set up systems and procedures to prevent harassment in their workplaces.

This is an informative manual aiming to be an instrument to support companies of all sectors and size, public or private, that want to pursue, voluntarily, an active policy in order to prevent, combat and eliminate harassment in the workplace.

The main and ultimate goal of this guide is not to create new duties for employers, private or public, but solely contribute to its clarification - and their workers - about sexual and moral harassment on the workplace

This guide is a tool that aims to support, in a simple way, the identification of harassment and inspire the building of procedures to prevent and combat such phenomena in the workplace, which can only be achieved in practice with the commitment and cooperation between representatives of the employer, public or private, and the representatives of the workers, who, together, should whenever possible include in this cause the services of safety and health at work.