Collective agreements of form, registration and publication must be written; Otherwise, they are annular (Article 4, paragraph 1, Collective Labour Relations Act). They must also be registered and published with the Ministry of Employment and Social Security. Registration is made 15 days after this filing, unless the department has informed the parties of its formal refusal, as is only permitted for the reasons mentioned in the legislation. There is therefore some form of administrative control over certain requirements relating to the creation and content of collective agreements that work by refusing registration. However, since the law does not give administrative authorities discretion over compliance with legal requirements, the system is purely formal. Control of the legality of collective agreements is referred to the courts (Article 43). After registration, the agreements must be published within a fortnight in the Boletim de Trabalho e Emprego (Article 26). This publication is essential at the beginning of its validity. Continuity of the Effects of Collective Agreements The normative effect of collective agreements means that their provisions automatically replace provisions in individual employment contracts that are less favourable to workers (Article 14 of the Employment Contracts Act). The content of a new agreement may deteriorate more favourable conditions if these conditions have been included in individual contracts resulting from a previous agreement, replaced by the new agreement (which is now applicable and introduced), provided that the new agreement contains a clause expressly stipulating that it is generally more favourable to workers (i.e.
the “pejus derogation” under Article 15 of the Act). The provisions of collective agreements are therefore not a substitute for the provisions of certain contracts if they have been agreed directly between the parties to the individual contract and are more favourable to the worker.