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Application of special working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Application of special working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Through Supreme Decree No. 4570, the application of special working conditions in labor relations and the services rendered in the public and private sectors are regulated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Background

It is considered necessary to regulate the application of special conditions in labor relations and the services rendered during the pandemic by COVID-19 due to the health and economic scenario that Bolivia is experiencing, dispensing with face-to-face work, but allowing the Information and Communication Technologies – ICT implementation and exploitation. Likewise, these can be developed in places other than the establishments or facilities of the company, or labor establishment, ensuring at the same time the respect for the labor rights of workers.

In this regard, the following measures are hereby enacted:

2. General Provisions

It is important to note what “special conditions” of work means:

“Those modifications referring to the schedule or place for the performance of the work or rendering of the service must not exceed the framework of reasonableness, imply any affectation to the general conditions previously stipulated, nor being determined as a sanction or mechanism of intimidation”.

These conditions may apply to the following employment relationships:

  • New or existing labor relationships are subject to the application scope of the General Labor Law.
  • The provision of new or existing services is subject to the application of the Civil Servants Statute Law.
  • The provision of new or existing services, temporary personnel, and individual line consultants in the public sector.

Likewise, the terms may be agreed upon as follows:

  • Continuous: It is performed outside the facilities of the private sector company or labor establishment, or public sector company or institution continuously on working days.
  • Alternate: It is performed outside the facilities of the private sector company or labor establishment, or public sector company or institution, alternating working days and hours.

3. Teleworking

Telework is a special condition of work, understood as:

“A means the work activity or services rendered is performed in a non-face-to-face manner through the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies – ICT’s or similar tools to facilitate communication between the employer and the worker, public servant, temporary staff, and individual line consultants in the public sector.”

It should be noted that the application of this special condition is voluntary and must be in writing, whose implementation the parties must agree, through suitable mechanisms of proof.

As a suggestion, this decree states that teleworking may be applied preferentially for people in vulnerable situations, over sixty-five (65) years, pregnant women, and people with chronic pathology, according to their activities and nature of their functions.

Finally, it is important to mention under no circumstances will the impossibility of applying this condition be a cause for termination of the labor relation.

4. Remote work

Similarly, Remote Work is considered as a special condition and understood as:

“A means the work activity or service rendered is performed totally or partially, in place or places other than the establishments or facilities of the company or labor establishment of the private sector, or company or institution of the public sector without direct and immediate supervision of the employer.”

In this modality, the parties must determine the workplace and a mechanism implementation to control the working day.

5. Effectiveness

Regarding the effectiveness of this decree, the Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Social Security is responsible for issuing the regulations to apply this Supreme Decree in the public and private sector within thirty (30) calendar days from its issuance.

Thus, the present decree should be applied with the publication of the regulations by mid or late September.

Source: La Gaceta 19/08/21

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