See how the situation of workers is after the end of the workload reduction

Work and social security card
Work Card: authorization for suspension of contracts has expired. Credit: Fernando Madeira

This was explained by labor lawyer Ana Beatriz Dantas, from Advocacia Rodrigues Viana, who points out that a period of up to two days was established from the end of the benefit to return. In other words, in this case, companies had until this Friday to regularize the working hours of professionals who had an agreement in force.

“Companies will have to terminate agreements made with employees either for the reduction or suspension of contracts, and they cannot enter into any further agreements. In addition, after the end of the benefit program, the companies assume responsibility for the full payment of the worker’s salary”, emphasizes the lawyer.

Originally launched last year, as one of the measures to fight the crisis caused by the new coronavirus pandemic, the program was extended several times, the last one at the end of April, when it was established that the measure would be valid for another 120 days.

Ana Beatriz reinforces, however, that the end of the agreements does not mean that the worker can simply be fired from now on, if the company does not want to or cannot keep paying the worker for their services full time. Workers who had their contract suspended or their work hours reduced by 25%, 50% or 70% must not only return to normal work hours, but are also entitled to temporary stability in their employment.

“If the employer does not respect the temporary stability of the worker, he will have to pay all the worker’s rights, already provided for by law, in addition to fines, which will depend on the percentage of workload reduction or suspension of the contract.”

On the last 10th, the Chamber of Deputies approved the basic text of a provisional measure that institutes a new round of the program to reduce working hours and wages or suspend employment contracts for another 120 days.

HOW WILL THE RETURN TO WORK IN FULL TIME BE?

The program has come to an end. Can the company keep my contract suspended or my working hours reduced, with a lower salary?

  • No. The term of the agreements has expired, and it is necessary to return to the original employment contract. A new agreement to reduce working hours or suspend the contract can only be made if the measure is extended by the government.

Is there a deadline to return to full-time work?

  • Generally, the suspension or reduction agreement has the date of return. In addition, in the case of contracts for suspension or reduction of working hours and wages that have already been completed, the workers have already returned.
  • But, the deadline was the 25th. Companies must return with the normal working hours within two days from the end of the benefit, that is, from this Friday (27th), it is already necessary to return to the working day normal work.

How is the salary? And who pays?

  • After the end of the benefit program, companies assume responsibility for the full payment of the worker’s salary.
  • In practice, the employer must pay the normal salary received by the employee, prior to the agreement.

Can I get fired from now on?

  • The program provides for a temporary guarantee of employment for the same period of work and salary cuts or suspension of contracts.
  • If the reduction is valid for four months, the provisional stability will be valid for four months after the full resumption of the contract. For example, someone whose salary was reduced in the months of April 25th to August 25th, can only be fired from December 26th.
  • There is permission, however, to dismiss for cause.

What if, even so, the boss fires me without just cause?

  • The company that dismisses without just cause during the tenure period must pay, in addition to the severance payments provided for in the legislation, an indemnity on the salary to which the employee would be entitled during the tenure period. The indemnity will be:
  • 50% of the salary to which the employee would be entitled during the period of temporary employment guarantee, in the event of a reduction in working hours and salary equal to or greater than 25% and less than 50%;
  • 75% of the salary to which the employee would be entitled during the period of temporary employment guarantee, in the event of a reduction in working hours and a salary equal to or greater than 50% and less than 70%;
  • 100% of the salary to which the employee would be entitled during the period of temporary employment guarantee, in the event of a reduction in working hours and wages by a percentage higher than 70% or of temporary suspension of the employment contract.

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