Code of good conduct to prevent and combat harassment at work

Code of good conduct to prevent and combat harassment at work

1. Legal context:

This “Code of Conduct” arises from the need to strengthen the legislative framework on the prevention of harassment in the workplace, following the entry into effect, on 1 October 2017, of Law no. 73/2017, of 16 August, which made the twelfth amendment to the Labour Code.

This is the fulfilment of a duty, now with strict legislative support, to adopt measures and guidelines to prevent, combat and react to harassment practices in the workplace, with a view to eliminating any and all behaviour that could be considered harassment.


2. Scope of application:

This “Code of Conduct” is applicable, integrally, to all Maiadouro employees, regardless of the professional category and functions exercised, hierarchical position, type of bond or any other condition.


3. Concept and general principles:

For these purposes, “harassment at work”, in the form of bullying, means any behaviour, whether isolated or repeated, which is unwanted and based on a discriminatory factor, with the purpose of disturbing or embarrassing a person, affecting his/her dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. This behaviour, thus framed, may be practised on access to employment or in employment, occupation, or professional training.

Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, with the purpose or effect of constraining, humiliating or intimidating, often taken to the extreme of creating in the victim the conviction of quitting his/her job. The aim is to safeguard the values and general principles of prevention of the physical and psychological integrity of all and respect for human beings and their dignity


4. Prohibitive behaviours:

The practice of harassment at work, moral or sexual, in the company is prohibited.

The following are considered intimidating and harassing conducts, subsumed in the concept of harassment:

  • Insults, intimidation or threats, made or not made in the presence of third parties, verbal or written;
  • Restrictions or limitations to freedom of expression, opinion or dialogue;
  • Temporary or permanent assignment of humiliating tasks;
  • Non-consented intrusion in private, personal or love life;
  • Repeated opposition and unfounded criticism of the working method and decisions adopted, with the intention of persecution and unnecessary public disclosure;
  • Spreading rumours or false information, of any nature;
  • Public comments, criticisms or behaviour with the sole purpose of humiliating, belittling or ridiculing;
  • Abuse of power, unjustified and disproportionate, of a hierarchical superior over his/her subordinate.


The practice of any act of discrimination (direct or indirect) related to: race, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, reduced work capacity, disability, chronic illness, economic situation, political or ideological beliefs, religion or trade union membership is also prohibited.

All employees are prohibited from sexually harassing other work colleagues, clients or external persons who contact or have contacted the company, namely through the practice of, among others, the following behaviours:

  • Sexual advances;
  • Requests for sexual favours;
  • Invitations for unwanted encounters;
  • Sexual jokes, images, written messages or e-mails;
  • Explicit and derogatory comments about appearance;
  • Presentation of sexually suggestive images or images with pornographic content.


These behaviours, which may be included in the concept of harassment at work, may be committed by any employee, superior or subordinate, the authorship of such behaviour not being relevant for these purposes.

All employees are required to refrain from any practice of harassment at work, to ensure a working environment that prevents situations of harassment at work, to participate in awareness-raising activities on the subject, to persuade others not to engage in any harassing, intimidating or humiliating behaviour, and to report situations of harassment at work of which they are victims, witnesses or have become aware through any means.

5. Procedures to be adopted:

Any employee may request clarification on harassment at work or on the compliance and enforcement of this “Code of Conduct”, as well as seek any kind of support or advice from Maiadouro’s Human Resources.

The employee who believes to have been the victim of a work harassment situation should report it immediately to his hierarchical superior or directly to the Administration, in writing or verbally. Reports should describe the facts and be accompanied by adequate evidence, including indication of witnesses, if any.

6. Consequences of harassment at work:

The practice of harassment is a highly reprehensible behaviour, punishable under criminal law and may be subject to disciplinary action under the terms set out in the labour legislation.

The victim of harassment at work will have the right to terminate the employment contract with just cause, as a result of an act against him/her committed by any employee, provided that it has been previously reported to the Authority for Working Conditions. On the other hand, the practice of harassment gives the victim the right to compensation for material and non-material damage.

The whistleblower and the witnesses cannot be disciplined in procedures related to situations of harassment at work, unless they act maliciously, based on statements or facts contained in the records of a judicial or administrative procedure for harassment, until a final and unappealable decision is taken, without prejudice to the right to adversarial proceedings.

The practice and attempt of moral and/or sexual harassment and retaliation by natural or legal persons who maintain business relations with the company shall result in the immediate termination of contracts for the supply of goods or services.

7. Maiadouro’s commitment:

Maiadouro undertakes to develop all possible actions to provide an environment free of harassment at work, avoiding its occurrence; Maiadouro also undertakes to promote disciplinary action whenever it is aware of alleged situations of harassment at work, ensuring non-retaliation in the communication of these unwanted practices.

Facing any practice of harassment at work, Maiadouro will guarantee the celerity and confidentiality of the investigation process, through the non-disclosure of any information to parties other than those involved in the harassment situation; the help to any affected employee and support the costs associated to its re-establishment.

The whistleblower and witnesses, in the light of Article 29, no. 6 of the Labour Code, cannot be subject to disciplinary sanctions, except when they act with intent, based on the statements or facts in the case file, arising from labour harassment.

The whistleblower and the witnesses are specially protected by the company, in relation to retaliation or possible attempts. Retaliation is a serious violation of this policy and will be subject to disciplinary action.

Maiadouro also undertakes to initiate the competent disciplinary process in case of founded suspicions of harassment at work, applying the necessary disciplinary measures.

Maiadouro, as an employer, will be responsible for the reparation of damages arising from occupational diseases resulting from the practice of harassment, namely sexual harassment and/or bullying.

8. Entry into force:

This “Code of Conduct” takes immediate effect and is fully applicable to all employees.

Maia, 25th October 2021.

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