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Leave of absence giving rise to suspension of the contract of employment to enable the employee to attend vocational training courses. Although such leave was formerly regulated under some collective agreements in Portugal, it has only recently become established as a recognized right of employees in general. Following an undertaking stipulated in the 1990 Economic and Social Agreement and reaffirmed in the 1991 Agreement on Vocational Training Policy , the "training leave" formula was introduced into Portuguese labour legislation. Employees are now able to take unpaid leave, for a minimum period of sixty days, in order to attend training courses. All employees are eligible who have not received adequate vocational training or have not been granted leave for this purpose within the past two years, provided they have completed at least three years' length of service in the enterprise. Training leave must be requested at least ninety days in advance, and the employer is in principle obliged to grant it. There are, however, two exceptions to this obligation: (1) where, in enterprises with fewer than twenty employees, it is not possible to replace the employee concerned; and (2) where, in the case of employees such as managerial staff, heads of department and skilled workers, their replacement may be seriously detrimental to the functioning of the enterprise or department.
Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.