Brazilian Ministry of Labor publishes new regulations
Over 1000 provisions on labor and social security legislation updated and consolidated
On November 11, 2021, Brazil’s Ministry of Labor issued ten new pieces of labor legislation, revoking or amending hundreds of ordinances, decrees, and normative instructions. Consequently, a significant number of provisions scattered across a broad range of pre-existing regulations have now been updated or consolidated.
According to the Federal Government, these new measures aim to cut red tape regarding labor relations, increase legal security, and promote transparency and consistency in labor and social security regulations.
Some of the main changes are outlined below:
Decree No. 10,854
The decree establishes the Permanent Program for the Consolidation, Simplification, and Debureaucratization of Labor Standards and includes provisions on a wide list of labor matters:
- Labor inspections and creation of the Electronic Labor Inspection Book (eLIT);
- Health and safety standards, including personal protective equipment (PPE) certification;
- Controlling working hours through electronic clock-in and clock-out systems;
- Mediation of collective disputes before the Ministry of Labor;
- Temporary work;
- Christmas bonus (‘thirteenth salary’);
- Rural work;
- Transportation vouchers;
- Programa Empresa Cidadã (‘Corporate Citizenship Program’);
- Regulations for expatriate workers and those hired to work abroad;
- Paid weekly rest and salary payments for civic and religious holidays;
- Annual Social Information Report (RAIS);
- Workers’ Food Program (PAT).
The program also creates a digital repository for labor standards that competent authorities must keep updated.
Ordinance No. 671
This new ordinance regulates a range of other issues:
- Work and Social Security Cards (CTPS) and rules regarding employee registration;
- Special contracts such as those for foreigners and expatriates (including joint liability for the companies involved), self-employed workers, intermittent workers, rural workers, musicians and artists;
- Rules on working hours, including control systems (manual, mechanical or electronic), temporary or permanent authorization to work on Sundays and public holidays, and overtime in unhealthy or risky environments;
- Consequences for employers with debts and arrears concerning salaries and the Length-of-Service Guarantee Fund (FGTS), one of Brazil’s main social welfare instruments;
- Parental benefits such as daycare assistance and time for breastfeeding;
- Official systems and records linked to Brazilian labor relations, such as eLIT, eSocial, RAIS, CAGED, and the Brazilian Occupation Classification (CBO);
- Anti-discrimination measures linked to employee selections, hiring, remuneration, promotion, professional training and retention;
- Union affairs, such as paying union dues, registering union entities and collective bargaining before competent authorities;
- Mediation of collective labor disputes;
- Alternative apprentice quotas for certain activities incompatible with apprenticeships;
- Supervision and penalization of cases involving calculated dismissals and fraudulent FGTS withdrawals;
- Important provisions regarding slave-like work conditions, which consolidate the scattered pre-existing regulation on the subject.
Ordinance No. 672
- This ordinance covers workplace health and safety conditions, procedures and programs, including:
- PPE assessment and certification;
- The use of respiratory protective equipment;
- General rules on how existing regulatory standards affect occupational health and safety, as well as procedures for reviewing these standards and drafting new rules;
- Consolidated norms concerning the Workers’ Food Program;
- Special health and safety provisions for professional drivers and institutions using benzene.
STRAB/MTP Ordinance No. 13,211
This ordinance establishes the Tripartite Study Group on Work-Related Psychosocial Risks (Tripartite Group) within the scope of the Permanent Tripartite Joint Committee, a government forum responsible for discussing occupational safety and health issues. Over the course of one year, the Tripartite Group will produce studies for the Ministry of Labor to assist it with forming public policies concerning psychosocial risks at work. The ordinance addresses workers’ mental health as an important workplace health and safety issue.
Ordinance No. 667
Regulates administrative processes for issuing violation notices, as well as FGTS debt and social security contribution notifications. The ordinance also sets criteria for authorities to follow regarding labor inspections, violation notices and administrative fines.
MTP Normative Instruction No. 1
This normative instruction covers the organization, analysis, processing and resumption of administrative proceedings arising from labor violation notices, along with FGTS debt and social security contribution notifications.
MTP/PGFN Joint Ordinance No. 5
The ordinance regulates credit remittances stemming from labor violation notices, FGTS debt notifications and social security contribution notifications in order to register the unpaid debt with the Brazilian Treasury Attorney General’s Office.
Ordinance No. 547
This ordinance addresses guidelines and procedures that authorities must follow when conducting labor inspections.
Normative Instruction No. 2
Provides for procedures and guidelines inspection authorities must consider, including special rules for each type of inspection.
Ordinance No. 548 and Normative Instruction No. 3 both update administrative rules for organizing the Ministry of Labor.
What companies should be aware of
Brazil’s government has been promoting a series of labor and social security legislation changes over the last few years, with the greatest of these changes culminating in the new rules above.
Paying attention to these modifications will help both in mitigating risks and taking advantage of opportunities to improve procedures and reduce costs, as these changes impact all companies to a greater or lesser extent. Therefore, companies should seek to understand which of these points apply to their specific business activities.
For more information, please contact Mattos Filho’s Labor, Employment and Executive Compensation practice area.