The Government recently enacted Law 2101 of 2021 (“Law“) which came into force on 15 July 2021 and aims to reduce the working week from 48 to 42 hours in a gradual manner (from 2023 to 2026).
Highlights of the Law
Among others, the Law:
- Amends Article 161 of the Substantive Labour code: The maximum legal ordinary working week will now be 42 hours a week, which can be distributed over 5 or 6 days a week.
- It establishes that the implementation may be gradual, as follows:
|Date||Maximum weekly work|
|2023 (July 15)||47 hours|
|2024 (July 15)||46 hours|
|2025 (July 15)||44 hours|
|2026 (July 15)||42 hours|
- It means that the new limit on weekly working hours will have the following exceptions:
- Maximum working hours for adolescents: (i) 15 – 17 years: 6 hours in daytime (until 6 pm), for a maximum of 36 hours per week; (ii) over 17: maximum working day of 8 hours per day and 40 per week, until 8 pm;
- The 6×36 working day; and
- The special 56-hour working week.
- Establishes that the reduction in working hours may not entail a reduction in salaries, social benefits, the value of the working hour, or the employer’s other obligations.
- Provides that the new maximum working week shall be understood as modified in all articles that refer to the 48-hour working week.
- Changes the daily working hours limit for flexible working hours. It will now be 9 hours a day instead of 10.
- It states that during the time of gradual implementation, the working day devoted to recreational, cultural, etc. or training activities will be adjusted proportionally by mutual agreement, as well as the Family Semi-Annual Working Day. When the maximum of 42 hours is reached, the employer may be exempted from these obligations.