Brazil and Colombia: Labor law and the remote workforce – the basics | Insights | #itsecurity | #infosec


 

Brazil

Colombia

Minimum wage

The minimum monthly legal wage is BRL$1,212 (US$224).

The minimum monthly legal wage is COP$1 million (US$250).

Outsourcing services

Outsourcing is permitted, including for core activities. Since 2017’s Labor Reform, any activity may be outsourced, provided that the provisions of Law 13.429/2017 are observed. This law concerns temporary workers but also extends to outsourcing activities. It is the responsibility of the contracting company to guarantee the safety, hygiene, and health conditions of employees, when the work is carried out at their facilities or at a place designated by them, and the contracting company will extend to the outsourced employees the same medical, ambulatory, and meal service that is available to their own employees, for example.

Labor outsourcing is permitted provided that parties follow applicable regulations. Specific rules regarding direction and control, subordination and autonomy in how they perform the work must be followed in order to reduce misclassification exposure and/or administrative sanctions.

Labor liability

Under labor outsourcing schemes, the contracting party is secondarily liable for the contractor’s employee’s labor rights. In case evidence arises that the outsourcing is unlawful, the contracting party may be deemed the real employer and, consequently, will be responsible for all labor rights.

Under labor outsourcing schemes, the contracting party is jointly liable for the contractor’s employee’s labor rights, provided that activities performed or services rendered are equal, similar or related to the contracting party’s core business.

Remote/hybrid work

The Brazilian Labor Code provides that remote work is the work performed most of the time outside the company´s premises. For fully remote working roles, the company has to cover work associated with work / home office costs. The Labor Code is not clear in this regard, but case law considers that an allowance shall be paid to cover extra costs for Internet and electricity. For employees working under a hybrid model, requirements are unclear. A company must provide fully remote employees with adequate resources to do their job. This is typically limited to providing a laptop.

Remote work conditions shall be inserted in an amendment to the employment agreement.

Colombian labor rules recognize different type of emote work:

  • Telecommuting (applies when the employee works remotely for more than two days per week)
  • Home office (for extraordinary and temporary circumstances)
  • Remote work (applies when the whole labor relationship is performed outside of the employer’s premises).

Specific rules apply for each work modality.

Working tools

As a general rule, employers must provide employees with all working tools (eg, computer, phone, means of transportation) and cover the costs associated with working for the business.

 

The employer has the right to monitor professional emails, sites accessed by the employee and any file saved on the work laptop, for example.

Likewise, employers must provide employees with all working tools (eg, computer, phone, Internet connection, means of transportation).

 

Under the home office scheme, parties may agree in writing that employees will provide their own working tools.

Labor disconnection

In Brazil, there is no law addressing the employee´s right to disconnect, although Bill n. 4044/2020, under discussion at this writing before the Senate, provides labor disconnection rules and may bring changes in the Labor Code, in the section related to remote work and exempt employees (not subject to time control/no overtime pay).

Colombia recently enacted Law 2191 of 2022 setting forth labor disconnection rules. According to these regulations, employees have the right not to be contacted outside working hours. The exceptions to labor disconnection are employees in a managerial or trust role, during on-calls, in situations of force majeure or emergencies.

Health and safety – biosafety protocols

The employer must comply with health and safety standards whatever the work modality (face-to-face, hybrid, remote, telecommuting).

When employees return to the employer’s premises, biosafety protocols must be in place to ensure employees’ health and safety in the workplace. Moreover, biosafety protocols must consider employees’ vaccination status. Nevertheless, data protection rules must be followed.

 

 

Employer must comply with health and safety standards regardless of the work modality (face-to-face, hybrid, remote, telecommuting).

When employees return to the employer’s premises, biosafety protocols must be in place to ensure their health and safety in the workplace. Moreover, biosafety protocols must consider employees’ vaccination status. Nevertheless, data protection rules must be followed.

 



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