Topic: Venezuela

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Minimum salary increase in Venezuela

On November 17, 2014, the President of the Republic issued Decree Nº 1.431 (the Decree), through which he increased the minimum salary for public and private sector workers by 15%. Such became effective on December 1, 2014.

  • Minimum salary

The Decree fixed the following scales for workers’ minimum salaries, with effect on December 1, 2014, notwithstanding the number of workers rendering services for the employer:

Category

From 12/1/2014

(Day shift)

Monthly

Daily

Public and private sector workers

Bs. 4,889.11

Bs. 162.97

Adolescents / Apprentices

Bs. 3,635.95

Bs. 121.20

According to the provisions of article 7 of the Decree and in … Continue Reading

Employees’ right and obligations relating to the use of social media

This post was contributed by Yanet C. Aguiar, Partner, and Valentina Albarrán, Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright Caracas.

Social media has become the new way of expression of everyone, from children to adults, now more than ever people share their lives. There is no question about each person’s right to share as much of their personal lives as they find appropriate, but that question remains as to whether or not people can share as much as their personal lives as they find appropriate from their work place, during working hours and using working tools.

There are no specific laws or regulations … Continue Reading

Amendment on the Nutrition Law

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 … Continue Reading

Are disabled employees under Venezuelan labour legislation protected from discrimination?

Yes, disabled employees are protected against discrimination in Venezuela pursuant to the Disable Person’s Law and the Organic Law on Prevention, Working Conditions, and the Work Environment. In fact, there is an express prohibition of discrimination by reason of incapacity.

The purpose of the Disabled Persons’ Law is to establish the rules according to which disabled persons will have the chance to lead normal lives within their surrounding society, their dignity and respect assured, with access to equal opportunities, protection and suitable employment conditions in accordance with their available faculties, social security, education, culture, sports, and economic rights, among others.… Continue Reading

Youth Employment Law

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 … Continue Reading

Flexible working – achieving a work life balance under Venezuelan labour legislation

This post was contributed by Yanet C. Aguiar, Partner, Norton Rose Caracas and Valentina Albarrán, Associate, Norton Rose Caracas.

In the modern age, work has become an increasingly important part of a person’s life. From the standpoint of western civilization, work is not only viewed as an activity people do in order to subsist, but as a true form of personal development.

From a very early age, children are taught to think about their future, questions such as; what do you want to be when you grow up, and school activities such as Career Day, send an … Continue Reading

Mandatory Military Registration

This post was written by María Gabriela Vicent, Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright (Caracas)

A new Law for Registration and Enlisting for the Integral Defense of the Nation (the “Law”) was enacted on June 25, 2014, forcing individuals and companies to register in the Integral Defense Registry (Military registry).

Among the obligations set by the Law the most relevant to employers are the following:

  • Compulsory registration of the individuals and legal entities;
  • Maintenance of the labor relationship while the employee is on military service;
  • Requirement for employees to obtain a certificate of registration in order to be employed;
  • A new requisite
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Employees’ rights to holiday in Venezuela

Venezuelan labor rights may not be waived by the parties, that is, they are rules of public policy and the Labor Law’s provisions must be applied even over the will of the parties. In addition, the principles of favor, non-waivability, intangibility and progressiveness of labor rights are a warranty to prevent a retreat in achieved workers’ rights.

In this sense, such principles in one way or another limit the will of the parties in an employment relationship, which is why, if a worker voluntarily abstains from accepting the warranties that the labor legislation grants her/him, such wish will be deemed … Continue Reading

Employees’ rights on redundancy in Venezuela

Employees’ rights on redundancy in Venezuela

The general rule under the Venezuelan Labor Law is that, no worker can be dismissed without just cause unless she/he is offered an indemnity for dismissal equal to the amount of her/his seniority benefit and she/he accepts it – Job Stability -. However, since 2002, workers are protected with a Special Bar against Dismissal (inamovilidad) which has been extended every year up to December 31, 2014 by Presidential Decree. As long as the Special Bar against Dismissal is in force, employers cannot freely dismiss workers without just cause and previously obtaining authorization … Continue Reading

Whistleblowing – what protection do employees have in Venezuela?

There is no legal protection for whistleblowers in Venezuela and it is not common in practice.

However, many transnational and local companies in Venezuela have policies and code of conducts protecting those who step up and expose Corruption, fraud, mismanagement, breaches of legal obligations. Some of these companies have hot lines through which employees are able to file a complaint with no obligation to say their names.

In those companies were no policies on whistleblowing protection are in force, workers who are willing to expose Corruption, fraud, mismanagement and/or breaches of legal obligations have no:

  • Accessible and reliable channels to
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The inclusion of profit in the definition of Business. Comparison of the New Labor Law and the abrogated Organic Labor Law

This post was -written by Valentina Albarran, Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright (Caracas)

The abrogated Organic Labor Law (“OLL”) defined Company and Business as follows: “Article 16: For the purposes of the Labor legislation, a Company is a business unit created for the production of goods or services in order to perform an economic activity and obtain a profit”.

In the other hand, the New Labor Law (“NLL”) gives the following definition: “Article 45: For the purposes of this law an entity of work is: a company or unit of production of goods or services made to perform an economic … Continue Reading

Possible extension of the Bar against Dismissals

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

On Christmas time Venezuelans have become accustomed to certain holiday traditions, receiving presents, spending more money that they have, and for the last years Venezuelans have also grown accustomed to the fact that December is the month for the extension of the Special Bar against Dismissals.

The situation had a bit more expectation last year, a new Organic Labor Law (“OLL”) was sanctioned on May 7, 2012 and it conditioned the termination of the working relationship to the worker’s will. December 2012 came, and people were expectant, … Continue Reading

Interns in Venezuela: Are they duly protected against discrimination?

In Venezuela, labor and employment anti-discrimination rules do not extend to interns and volunteers unless their contracts explicitly acknowledge equal treatment. The Organic Labor Law (the “LOTTT”) provides protection for any individual under an employment relationship.

Therefore the issue here is to determine who is an employee and who is not. The LOTTT states that interns are not subject to an employment relationship; ergo they are not employees in the true and legal sense of the term.

Volunteers are also unprotected by law against labor and employment discrimination; since volunteers provide pro bono services and an employment relationship cannot exist … Continue Reading

Childcare obligations – what are an employer’s obligations?

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:

  1. Providing a day-care center for their workers’ children directly or through a non-profit civil association established by the employer;
  2. Establishing a child-care center jointly with two or more neighboring companies either directly or through a non-profit civil association; or
  3. Paying a monthly
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Minimum salary increase in Venezuela

On October 18, the President of the Republic published Decree Nº 503 (the Decree), establishing an increase of 10% in the minimum salary for public and private sector workers from November 1, 2013, using the 2013 National Consumer Price Index (INPC) as a reference. Below you will find our comments on the most relevant aspects of the Decree:

Minimum salary

The Decree established the following minimum salary rates for workers, effective as of November 1, 2013, regardless of the number of workers employed in an enterprise:

Category

As of 1/11/2013

(day shift) 10%

Monthly

Daily

Public and private sector workers
Continue Reading

How are Holidays and Rest Days paid in Venezuela?

Under Venezuelan labour legislation, holidays and rest days are paid as follows:

1.         Holidays

The following days and dates are holidays for the purposes of the Labor Law (Article 184):

  • Sundays,
  • January 1,
  • Monday and Tuesday of Carnival,
  • Maundy Thursday and Good Friday,
  • May 1st,
  • December 24th, 25th, 30th and 31st;
  • The days listed in the Law of National Holidays, including April 19th, June 24th, July 5th, July 24th, and October 12th; and
  • Those days declared holidays either by the Government or the
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Venezuela’s minimum wage increase to be implemented by employers

Venezuela’s minimum salary for the day shift is Bs. 2,702.73 as of September 1, 2013, which represents the 10% increase established in Article 1 b) of the Minimum Wage Decree Nº 30 (Decree).

This Decree came into effect on April 30, 2013 and its general implications were commented by Juan Carlos Pró-Rísquez, Esther Cecilia ”Kelly” Blondet and Norah Chafardet Grimaldi in their article Minimum salary increase in Venezuela, which also outlined minimum salary rates for public and private sector workers as well as adolescents and apprentices.

Current minimum part-time salary

Articles 6 of the Decree and 172 of … Continue Reading

Worker´s Councils and the new forms of Venezuelan Employment

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

A few months after the 1st year anniversary of the Venezuelan New Labor Law the legislative body has proven itself to be a modern take on the Pandora´s Box myth.

Of the many controversial aspects of the law, there is still one that hasn´t been widely discussed or even yet fully implemented, thus it remains a mystery.

The aspect in question is the one included in articles 497 and 498 of the New Labor Law, regarding the creation of the Worker´s Councils.

According to the Organic … Continue Reading

Venezuela Work-Schedule Regime: Comply or get sanctioned

As new wage and hour or work-schedule regulations have been recently brought fully into effect, employers face risks of being sanctioned in case the Ministry of Labour and Social Security finds that such rules have been breached.

In fact, the duration of the ordinary work period as of May 7, 2013 may not exceed 40 hours per week in daytime, 37½ hours per week in the mixed day, and 35 hours per week in the night shift, except in the case of continuous and shift work, and special or agreed schedules.  Moreover, overtime work is limited to 10 hours per … Continue Reading

Wrongful Dismissal in Venezuela

One thing is very clear under Venezuela legislation, it is almost impossible to dismiss a worker.

A.      Job Stability

Theoretically, the Labour Law allows employers to terminate workers with or without cause.

  1. Employers are able to terminate workers with cause based on the grounds listed in Article 79 of the Labour Law. Employers have a term of five workdays for reporting the justified dismissal to the labor courts.
  2. Employers are also able to dismiss workers without just cause, however, such termination shall only be effective if the employee accepts the termination and receives payment of an indemnity for dismissal. The
Continue Reading

Restricted covenants under Venezuelan labor legislation

Under Article 20 of the Regulations to the abrogated Organic Labor Law (which is still in force as long as its rules do not contravene the New Labor Law), the enforcement of non-compete provisions is limited.

Such Article expressly provides that during the employment relationship, the employee shall refrain from carrying out negotiations on her/his own behalf or on behalf of others, unless she/he is expressly or tacitly authorized otherwise.

This duty may be required of an employee for up to six months as of termination of the employment relationship. For that, among other requirements, the Regulations establish that such … Continue Reading

New feature – a common theme across the regions

We are happy to announce a new feature to this blog: every month, all participating regions will post on a common theme.   We hope that this feature will give our readers a quick glance into the differences and commonalities that exist between each of the various jurisdictions on a relevant employment and labour law issue.

This week, our bloggers will be posting on restrictive covenants as they currently apply in their respective regions.

We hope you enjoy this new feature and stay tuned for next month’s common theme!

 … Continue Reading

Is it impossible to dismiss an Employee in Venezuela?

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:… Continue Reading

International Group of Companies in Venezuela. The past, the present and the what´s next?

This post was contributed by Yanet C. Aguiar, Partner, Norton Rose Caracas and Valentina Albarrán, Associate, Norton Rose Caracas

Venezuela is no stranger to the existence and proliferation of Group of Companies or Business Groups, they have become a fundamental part of Venezuelan economy. However, throughout the last decade or so, we have witnessed the departure and reduction of many of them.

Naturally, the subject is intertwined with the economic life of our country, so it would seem odd that for quite some time the subject was reduced to a regulatory state (article 21 of the Regulations to … Continue Reading

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