Labor | Changes in Brazilian Labor Laws That Companies Operating in Brazil Should Be Prepared For in 2024

New changes and updates to Brazilian Labor and Employment Law are planned for 2024, with the aim of adapting legislation to the demands of the labor market reality.

Some of the key planned changes are worth highlighting, such as:

1. Regulation of Companies in the Commerce Sector to work on Sundays and holidays: since the end of January/2024, the publication of an ordinance regulating commercial work has been awaited, indicating which categories will be able to operate seven days a week. A list must be presented by the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE – Brazilian Acronym) containing around 200 sectors considered essential and which will not need to close agreements with unions for work on holidays, such as pharmacies and gas stations. 

2. Reduction of working hours of 44hrs to 40 hours per week: in December 2023, the Brazilian Social Affairs Committee approved the project (PL 1.105/2023) that includes in the CLT the possibility of reducing daily or weekly hours worked, if it is done by agreement or collective agreement. In this case, the reduction in hours must occur without a salary reduction. 

3. Paternity Leave of 180 days: also in December 2023, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF – Brazilian Acronym) approved the Direct Action of Unconstitutionality by Omission (ADO – Brazilian Acronym) 20, presented by the National Confederation of Health Workers (CNTS – Brazilian Acronym), where there is an argument that, present the constitutional provision regarding paternity leave, there is no specific law that regulates the topic. The deadline for Congress to create a law that regulates paternity leave has been underway since December 2023. From then on, it is expected that the Legislative Branch will propose deadlines different from the general rule provided for in the Brazilian Constitution for the benefit, of five days.

4. 36-hour working day for health professionals: Bill 6,147/2023 is awaiting vote in the Senate, which limits the weekly working day of professionals working in the health sector to 36 hours. The project includes workers holding public positions, as well as workers governed by the Labor and Employment Law, including community health agents, technicians linked to the area and providers of in-person support services, among others.

With the above agendas under discussion in 2024, it is expected that the legislation will adapt to the new realities. In view of this, it is important to monitor new proposals to act preventively against changes in legislation.


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