On November 13, 2014, the President issued a Decree with the Rank, Value and Force of Partial Amendment of the Nutrition Law for the Workers (“Nutrition Law”).
The most innovative aspects of the amendment of the Nutrition Law, are the following:
- Value of the nutrition benefit
The Nutrition Law increased the basis for the calculation of the benefit, setting as lowest limit the equivalent of 0.5 Tax Unit (“TU”) and as top limit the equivalent of 0.75 TU per working day or shift (Currently it is Bs. 63.50 and Bs. 95.25). Previously, the value of this benefit could not be lower than 0.25 TU or higher than 0.5 TU.
Previously, the Nutrition Law set forth that the benefit could not exceed 30% of the amount resulting from adding to the worker’s monthly salary the value of coupons, tickets or electronic food cards, or the relevant cash Money or its equivalent received by the worker in the applicable month. The Nutrition Law increased such percentage to 40%.
Moreover, it establishes that in such cases in which the value of the benefit exceeds the 40%, the employer shall gradually take steps in subsequent salary and benefit adjustments, to make the necessary corrections to meet the above referred limit.
- Specifications in Coupons, Tickets and Electronic Food Cards
In addition to the specifications required before the amendment, the Nutrition Law sets forth that:
(i) The value of the coupons, tickets and electronic cards must be paid to the supplier store;
(ii) Electronic cards must have access to consult the available balance for the workers.
- Temporary Provision
From December 1, 2014 on, employers shall increase the value of the Nutrition Benefit received by its workers as of November 30, 2014 based on the following rules:
(i) If the value of the benefit received was between 0.25 TU and 0.50 TU, both inclusive, such benefit shall be increased in a straight line by 0.25 TU; and
(ii) When the value of the benefit received was higher than 0.50 TU but lower than 0.75 TU, it shall be adjusted to the upper limit of 0.75 TU.
Finally, the Nutrition Law orders the substitution of the term “employers” for “Working Entities”.