QCOSTARICA – With the objective of avoiding massive layoffs and more labor lawsuits, private sector workers who are working only part-time today due to the Covid-19 pandemic, would remain under this scheme for six more months as of December.
That will be the case if the bill by the legislator María Inés Solís of the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC) is approved.
The initiative would prevent massive layoffs and, at the same time, help employers to maintain their operations amid the difficult economic situation.
It was that in mind that legislators in March approved the reduction in workday to half when the first case of Coronavirus was announced in the country
If the extension is not approved, employers would be obliged to restore working conditions prior to the pandemic, which would be impossible for many small companies that are today struggling to survive.
In these cases, there would be massive layoffs and employers would face labor lawsuits for their inability to pay the labor costs, Solís said.
“The reduction of the working day was only enabled for nine months and that period expires in December. If we do not make a change, employers will have to return their workers pre-pandemic conditions, or else, fire them,” the legislator added.
If the bill is approved, the reduction in working hours for the private sector would continue until mid-2021, waiting for economic conditions to improve.
The bill establishes that employers will be able to reduce working hours by half, as long as they prove that their income has fallen.
Solís had also presented a bill to prevent the reduction of the working day from being taken into account when calculating the pension.
“This is an initiative of social interest, through which we want to assure people who have contributed throughout their lives and are already meeting the quotas and the age to retire, that they can do so with the assurance that the amount of pension income will not be affected,” said the legislator.
According to the bill that deputies approved in March, an employer can cut the working day as well as the applicable salary by up to 50%, when it experiences a drop of at least 20% in gross income, as a result of the national emergency; and can cut hours and wages up to 75%, if income falls by at least 60%.
If the Ministry of Labor determined that the company’s drop in revenue was not as claimed, the salary difference should be paid in the future.
The reduced working hours and salaries cannot be reduced for employees who are pregnant or lactating.