Labor reform was discussed at the Arab Chamber

30 de novembro de 2017

São Paulo – The changes that the new labor law brings to relations between employers and workers was the topic of an event this Thursday (30) at the headquarters of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in São Paulo. Members of the Chamber watched a presentation by lawyers Patricia Alves and Manoela Pascal Martins, partners of law firm Souto Correa Cesa Lummertz & Amaral Advogados, who clarified the main points of the bill.

Patrícia said that the Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT), which was signed in 1943, suffered some modification throughout the years, but that this one, from 2017, is the most substantial. “The new bill now coming alters the background of labor relations,” said the lawyer.

According to Patricia, up until now, there was a highly-protective law regarding the employee, with the law seeing them as the disadvantaged party, with no condition to discuss labor relations with the company and that needed to be protected by the State and Labor Justice.

“Now, with the new bill, we realized that in some legal devices there’s a change in this structure, in certain points, to a specific employee profile, without this highly-protective notion, and now the higher-education employee, with a higher-than-average remuneration, is considered to have the conditions to discuss with the employer what are the best labor conditions to regulate that relation,” said Patrícia.

Patrícia and Manoela explained several of these changes, with one of them being that the labor-related processes now carry a risk to the employee. Before, the lawsuit’s costs and the expert fees would go to the company. Now, if the claims within employees’ lawsuit were to be judged unfounded, they will have to bear the costs, including those of the expertise hired, in case they do not found what the employee indicated.

“Free legal procedures will be granted in a more judicious way by the judges, in such a way that those workers that don’t meet the requirements will have to pay the lawsuit’s costs, the defeated party’s fees to the other party in the lawsuits dismissed, and expertise fees. The result of this we see as the adoption of a better defined and careful criteria by workers and lawyers when presenting an initial petition and when selecting the lawsuits about which there can actually be any discussion,” says the lawyer.

The Labor reform also makes several changes regarding working hours. It determines, for instance, that when employees are at the company, but not at work or at the disposal of the employers, when they are there only to wait for the bus, studying or resting, that this time should not be computed as working hours.

The new bill also allows for part time work, of 26 weekly hours with the possibility of adding up to 6 extra hours in the period, or 30 weekly hours without the possibility of extra hours. Also allowed is to work less in certain periods of the month and to work more in others, with the latter when the company is at its peak operation, with all this regulated over payment and not over extra hour.

According to the lawyers’ presentation, the reform also brought changes to issues such as meals – which doesn’t have to be the minimum of one hour and maximum of two hours, it can be of 30 minutes –, and vacations – which now can be divided in three periods, with one of them not below 14 days and the other two can’t be inferior to five days. Some of the issues that we have can now be discussed between employers and employees, and other, depending on periods and specification, must have a collective union negotiation.

A significant change was the regulation of the agreement between the two parties for the discharge of an employee. According to the explanation by Manoela, in this case the worker gets 80% of the FGTS (Length-of-Service Guarantee Fund), and the amount of the fine and the prior notice drop by half. The worker also doesn’t get the unemployment compensation.

Also representing the law firm Souto Correa Cesa Lummertz & Amaral Advogados , alongside Manoela and Patrícia, was attorney Raphael Jadão. The presentation was the first action of the Arab Chamber’s Legal Committee, which includes law firms that are members of the Chamber. Occasionally, the committee will hold lectures to clarify legal topics. Besides the representatives of member companies, also attended the event the Arab Chamber’s CEO, Michel Alaby, the president of the Chamber’s Management Council, Walid Yazigi, and director Claudia Yazigi Haddad.

Contact info
Law firm Souto Correa Cesa Lummertz & Amaral Advogados
Phone: +55 11 3530-8400

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani