It is almost impossible to dismiss an employee in Venezuela.
First of all, because the New Labor Law provides that, except for top management employees, employers cannot dismiss workers unilaterally (job stability), even those who are not protected by the bar against dismissals. Second, the Government extended the Special Bar against Dismissals again. Finally, the reduction of personnel procedure was eliminated from the New Labour Law.
1. Job Stability.
(i) Workers Covered:
The New Labour Law provides that no worker may be dismissed without there being a just cause for doing so. The following workers are covered by job stability:
(a) Workers hired for an undefined term, as of the first month of service;
(b) Workers hired for a defined term, for the duration of the contract; and
(c) Workers hired for a determined work, until the completion of all of the tasks for which she/he was specifically hired.
Top management employees and those with less than one month of services, are the only workers excluded.
(ii) Possibility to dismiss a worker protected with Job Stability:
Should the worker dismissed without just cause receive the payment of her/his seniority benefit, and an additional amount equivalent by way of indemnity, then the dismissal is actually legally possible.
2. Special Bar against Dismissals.
(i) Effective term of the extension of the Special Bar Against Dismissals.
On December 27, 2012, the Decree N° 9,322 on Special Bar Against Dismissals was extended again. The Decree on Special Bar against Dismissals provides a special protection against dismissals from January 1°, 2013 until December 31, 2013.
The special protection against dismissals was initially decreed in April 2002.
(ii) Effects of the Special Bar Against Dismissals.
The Special Bar Against Dismissals means that employers may not dismiss, impair the labour conditions, or transfer a worker without just cause from January 1°, 2013 until December 31, 2013. In order to dismiss, impair the labour conditions, or transfer an employee, employers must obtain previous authorization from the Office of the Labour Inspector through a dismissal qualification process that shall begin at the appropriate Office of the Labour Inspector.
Failure by the employer to make a request to dismiss an employee shall give the employee the right to ask for reinstatement and payment of back wages, as well as additional benefits that were not received.
(iii) Employees protected by the Decree on Special Bar Against Dismissals.
The following employees shall have Special Bar Against Dismissals, regardless of their wages:
- Hired employees for an indefinite term, from one month of service for an employer:
- Hired employees for a fixed term, provided that the term specified in the agreement has not expired, and
- Hired employees for a specific work, as long as all of it or the portion under his/her responsibility has not been completed.
(iv) Employees non-eligible for the Decree on Special Bar Against Dismissals.
The following employees shall be expressly excluded from the Special Bar Against Dismissals:
- Top management employees, and
- Temporary and occasional workers.