By Leonardo Bezerra
The year 2020, marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, ends registering a series of measures to contain the effects of the crisis on the Brazilian productive sector.The Federal Government, in an effort to deal with this stormy period, temporarily made the labor rules less rigid in an attempt to minimize losses for companies, employees and, more broadly, for the Brazilian economy.
The Provisional Measure 936 (Law 14020/2020) was one of the actions that ease the labor relations by enabling the proportional reduction of working hours and salaries and the temporary suspension of the employment relationship agreement until by Dec-31-2020. With this same purpose, MP 927, which was in force between March and July, brought changes related to vacations, time bank, telework and FGTS, among others.
As many new topics and discussions, still with no law, have arisen, it is worth seeking specialized assistance to avoid exposing the company to risks.
The extinct MP 927 allowed an individual or collective time bank bargaining agreement for compensation within 18 months, counted from the end of the state of public calamity (Dec-31-2020). Only the agreements signed during the term of the MP are valid under these terms.
In such cases, compensation must be made from January 1, 2021, for up to 18 months. At the end of this period (June 2022), if the worker has not compensated for the negative hours, the company must evaluate what is the best action to take, always guided by the CLT and collective bargaining agreements of the category.
It is worth mentioning that many points were not clarified by the MP and it is worth analyzing each case with specialized support.
With the pandemic, companies were under pressure to implement the home-based work method. For some months now working in this format, there are still many doubts about structure, costs, resources, working hours, health and safety at work, since there is no clear discipline on this.
As the modality seems to have come to stay, in full or hybrid scheme, the Brazilian legislation, which dedicates only five articles to the theme, will need to be improved to account for the new situations experienced by employees and employers, ensuring more legal certainty.
Companies must be aware that the communication about the change from the home-based to the face-to-face system must be made, at least, 15 days before the return date, as established by the Law 13.467/2017.
Another step towards easing labor legislation is the Green and Yellow Contract, proposed through MP 905, which encourages hiring people between 18 and 29 years-old (who had never worked with a formal contract), in a model in which that employers pay less taxes.
This MP was in force from January to April 2020, when it was revoked. Since then, it is expected to be re-presented with some adjustments to the text.
The vision for next year is for the government to present a new proposal. As has been reported in the press, the issue should soon be brought up as another mechanism to stimulate employment generation in Brazil.
One subject that we should monitor is the evolution of the payroll exemption of 17 sectors, including civil works, information technology, urban public transportation, communication, and textiles.
The extension of this measure was approved by the Legislative and vetoed by the Executive. Then Congress cancelled the veto, prompting the government to call the Supreme Court to try to reverse the situation.
Until then, the exemption remains valid until Dec-31-2021. This allows the replacement of the social security contribution of 20% on salaries by a rate of 1% to 4.5% on gross revenue, which gives breath to the sectors benefited in the current scenario.
Throughout 2020, eSocial had adjustments to the layout, which lead to several changes in the information provision. Companies must remain attentive to the requirements, also considering the crossings of the data inserted in this platform with other integrated systems.
The Special Secretariat for Labor and Social Security formalized a technical note on Dec-11-2020, stating that Covid-19 can only be considered an occupational disease after the employee being examined by a federal medical.
Thus, the case may be recognized as an occupational disease and, consequently, the contamination may be classified as a work accident "due to a similar disease", including reflections on the calculation of the Accident Prevention Factor - FAP, with the possibility of increasing social security contributions. for the next few years.
This year brought many challenges to the labor and social security area, with so many measures, requirements, and new situations. DPC was side by side with the client and will continue to provide all the necessary support to what lies ahead.
2021 still promises to be quite turbulent year for the economy, naturally bringing consequences to the labor area. Processes are becoming more flexible and simplified, but the novelties always require great caution.
Author: Leonardo Bezerra, partner and labor and social security manager at Domingues e Pinho Contadores (DPC-SP).
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