This post was contributed by Valentina Albarrán, Associate, Norton Rose Caracas.

Youth Employment Law On October 8th, 2014 a Youth Employment Law (the “Law”) was approved by the Venezuelan President under the Enabling Law granted to the Executive Power by the Venezuelan Parliament.

The Law has yet to be published in the Official Gazette of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and, in consequence, the public has had no access to the information regarding the content of the law. The publication in the Official Gazette is a necessary procedure for the Law to be deemed enacted, according to article 215 of the Constitution.

However, the public has had a preview of the Law straight from the source. Both the President and the Head of the Education Ministry have announced for months the primary purpose of the Law. They have specially stated that, combined with the Youth Mission Robert Serra, the Law will aim to “put at the service of the Venezuelan youth all the strengths of the state, credit strengths in the area of housing and education, and providing secure work for the youth.”

With the publication of the Law, private sector employers will have the obligation to hire young workers looking for work for the first time for at least 5% of its payroll. The private sector employers will also have the obligation to grant education for the duration of the young workers studies.

The Executive Power has yet to define “youth”, or “young workers”, in order to establish the limitations of the Law. The Organic Labor Law as well as the Law of the National Institute for the Socialist Education, already impose an obligation for private sector employers to comply with the National Apprenticeship Program by incorporating teenagers (14-18 years old) to their payroll for either theoretical or experimental work. Since no definition of the subjects of the Law has been given, we could assume that youth or young workers will refer to people who are older than 18 years old, but are still in college. We expect that all questions will be answered when the Law is finally published.

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