- It's now illegal for bosses to contact their employees after work hours in Portugal, AP reported.
- Employers must also pay WFH expenses such as increased electricity and internet bills.
- Portugal's ruling socialist party hopes the new labor laws will attract digital nomads.
Portugal passed a batch of labor laws last week in an attempt to attract more digital nomads to the country, The Associated Press reported.
The new protections for digital workers include fining employers for calling workers after hours and requiring companies to pay for work-from-home expenses such as internet and electricity.
But not all of Portugal's proposed labor laws were approved. The "right to disconnect," or the legal right to turn off work devices and messaging services after-hours, was struck down by Portuguese lawmakers.
Freelancers and entrepreneurs are already taking advantage of Portugal's newly designed temporary resident visa. In February, the Portuguese islands of Madeira launched a "digital nomad village" with free WiFi and workstations.
The European nation is not the only country hoping to attract a virtual workforce, despite the strain long-term tourists place on local infrastructure and frequent tax exemptions.
Tropical destinations such as Bermuda, Antigua, and Costa Rica announced plans to offer digital nomad visas during the pandemic, which allow long-term stays up to two years. European countries including Croatia, Greece, and Spain also offer variations of virtual work visas.
The term "digital nomad" became so popular over the past year that Merriam-Webster added it to the dictionary in late October.
The number of digital nomads - now officially defined as someone who performs their occupation entirely over the internet while traveling - jumped nearly 50% in 2020. About 11 million Americans now identify as digital nomads, and over half are traditional full-time employees who've decided to do their jobs from the road, Insider's David Kushner reported.
"We consider Portugal one of the best places in the world for these digital nomads and remote workers to choose to live in, we want to attract them to Portugal," Ana Mendes Godinho, Portugal's Minister of Labour and Social Security, said at the recent Web Summit conference in Lisbon. "The pandemic has accelerated the need to regulate what needs to be regulated."