Employers with more than 20 workers are required to provide a day-care center, where such workers whose salary is less than five minimum salaries can leave their children aged between three months and six years during the work day.
To comply with this requirement, employers may choose between several options provided in the corresponding legislation. Options vary between:
- Providing a day-care center for their workers’ children directly or through a non-profit civil association established by the employer;
- Establishing a child-care center jointly with two or more neighboring companies either directly or through a non-profit civil association; or
- Paying a monthly amount to an institution duly authorized by the Ministry of the Family, located near the residence of the workers, with a maximum tuition and monthly fee of 40% of the minimum salary.
It is forbidden to comply with this obligation by paying the day-care costs directly to the worker. Payments are made directly to the institution providing the childcare and shall not be deemed part of the salary for legal purposes.
In case of the employer´s non compliance, the latter will be obligated to pay the worker and indemnity equivalent to the owed amount plus delayed interests.
The day-care center must comply with the following obligations:
- Be exclusively designated as a day-care service;
- Have a room for instruction and games, restroom for exclusive use of personnel, restroom for exclusive use of the children, and a room for office and files;
- Have a breastfeeding room, where adequate attention and education is guaranteed to the workers’ children; and,
- Have linen and cleaning products, tables and chairs for the children, cribs for children aged less than one year old, water dispenser and first-aid kit.
The day-care service must be rendered during the day and all year to allow workers to leave their children during their work-schedule, except for collective vacations in those day-care services established by the employer.
The employer is obliged to file an annual report to the Labor Inspector Office regarding compliance of its day-care obligation.