The relaxation of labor laws that prevailed during the covid-19 pandemic may be triggered in the event of new periods of public, national or local calamity. The National Congress enacted today (16) Law 14,437, derived from Provisional Measure (MP) 1,109/2022.
Sent to the National Congress in March, the MP was approved by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate earlier this month, on the return of parliamentary recess. With the law, labor standards can be automatically simplified in case of future calamities, without the government having to issue a new MP to be voted on by Congress.
Among the rules of the new law are the possibility of instituting telework, anticipation of individual vacations, in addition to the temporary suspension of wages and working hours. The law also allows, in the context of public calamity, the granting of collective vacations; the use and anticipation of holidays; the hour bank; and the suspension of payments from the Severance Indemnity Fund (FGTS).
The text also resumes, with some changes, rules of the Emergency Employment and Income Maintenance Program, adopted during the crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic. The program becomes permanent and can be instituted to combat the consequences of states of public calamity.
In case of new calamity situations, the employer may suspend the employment contract or reduce the journey with a salary reduction in exchange for the Emergency Benefit (BEm). The aid is equivalent to 25%, 50% or 70% of the unemployment insurance to which the person would be entitled if dismissed, in cases of salary reduction by equivalent amounts. In case of suspension of contract, it corresponds to 100% of the unemployment insurance.
The proposal includes rural, domestic and urban temporary workers, as well as apprentices and interns. According to the text, the Ministry of Labor and Welfare will establish the deadline for the adoption of alternative measures, which may be up to 90 days, extendable while the state of public calamity decreed lasts.
In relation to telework, the employer may, at its discretion, change the in-person work regime to telework or remote work. It is also up to him to determine the return to the face-to-face work regime, regardless of the existence of individual or collective agreements. The employer must provide equipment for employees, in addition to allowing reimbursement to workers for any expenses with internet and equipment.
As for FGTS collections, the provisional measure empowers the Ministry of Labor to suspend the chargeability for up to four months in establishments located in municipalities with a state of public calamity recognized by the federal government.
The measure reaches all companies, regardless of the sector in which they operate, the tax regime or membership. Deposits to the fund will be resumed after the end of the alternative measure, in six installments, without interest, fines or other charges.
Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News