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Content In principle, collective agreements can deal with all issues within the scope of the collective autonomy of social partners. However, there are a number of exceptions to this principle. On the one hand, the law gives a positive delineation of the content of the agreements. Article 5 of the Collective Relations Act stipulates that they may govern the reciprocal rights and obligations of workers and employers; relations between states that are signatories to an agreement; dispute resolution procedures resulting from individual employment contracts, the introduction of conciliation, conciliation and arbitration mechanisms. This formulation reflects the distinction made by lawyers between the mandatory and prescriptive parts of collective agreements. In addition, the law (mainly in Article 6) contains a negative delineation of the content of the agreements. First, the general limitations arise from the limits of collective autonomy itself: collective agreements must not regulate economic activities with regard to the working time of companies, the tax system and price formation. Second, there are a number of limitations on autonomy arising from compliance with constitutional and ordinary provisions, a general restriction that stems from the hierarchy of legal sources that the law itself establishes, stating that collective agreements should not restrict the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights and should not benefit from binding legislation. The prohibition of trade union affiliations (closed store) is a consequence of this. It is also prohibited to violate the legal provisions relating to minimum working conditions; Only provisions that are more favourable to workers are allowed, whether they are created by individual autonomy or, as a general rule, collective autonomy. It should be noted, however, that in some cases the legal provisions prohibit the establishment of provisions different from those of the law by collective autonomy and, in other cases, prohibit the granting of more favourable conditions to workers (. B for example, immediately after the revolution, but still in the 1989 law on dismissal). Portuguese labour law has various such restrictions.
In 1975 and 1976, a number of issues were completely or partially excluded from the jurisdiction of social partners (under the law), such as termination of the employment contract, fixed-term contracts and regulation of annual leave, public holidays and absences from work. Despite these restrictions, collective agreements still often contain such provisions, for example. B clauses contrary to the law, which often imposes more favourable conditions on workers in terms of disciplinary procedures, leave and absences. Similarly, the prohibition in Article 6, paragraph 1 of the Collective Labour Act on the collective agreement scheme for supplementary social security benefits was systematically ignored until recently. The courts have begun to question the validity of these provisions. It is clear that the government`s stated policy has focused on the voluntary resolution of differences in the industry. But industrial legislation since independence and state intervention to establish different standards of working conditions and mechanisms for the compulsory resolution of disputes have limited the scope of collective bargaining. In his own words: “Most collective bargaining (agreements) have been at the factory level, although in major textile centres such as Bombay and Ahmedabad, inter-professional agreements were (quite) common…
Such agreements also exist in the southern plantation industry, Assam and the coal industry. That said, in new industries – chemistry, oil, oil refining and distribution, aluminum and electrical equipment, auto repair – dispute resolution through voluntary agreements has become commonplace in recent years.