Between May 2023 and January 22 of this year, 312,876 self-declarations of illness were activated with the SNS24, an average of 1,100 “self-declarations” per day.

Data from the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health (SPMS), reported by Expresso, also shows that the days that concentrate the greatest use of this mechanism, which allows a worker to justify absence from work for three days (unpaid) without be seen by a doctor, are Mondays and those preceding or following holidays.

In the last week of 2023 and the first week of this year, complaints emerged from both private sector employers and constraints in some public services. Of the more than 300,000 “self-declarations” issued in the last almost nine months, 54,606 were activated in December, with the 27th — a Wednesday, just after Christmas and the time allowance granted by the Government to public employees — to be recorded the largest number of emissions. The daily maximum record was reached, precisely, on the following Wednesday, January 3rd (5,907).

Although the numbers for the last month of the year (in these specific weeks) coincide with the peak of the flu, which could also help justify the increase during this period, some companies suspect “abuse” of the mechanism, pointing the finger at the lack of supervision.

The president of CIP — Confederação Empresarial de Portugal, Armindo Monteiro, reports “constraints in the management of human resources in the industry, generated by these absences in critical times”, makes it “more difficult to find replacements”.