The labor mini-reform brought by the Economic Freedom Act

By: Dr. Monalisa Maia
Monalisa Maia

The Law on Economic Freedom (No. 13.874 / 2019), published on September 20 and already in effect throughout the country, brings numerous measures to reduce the bureaucracy of managing a business, whether small, medium or large. As a result, it will facilitate the opening of new companies with a tendency to simplify both time and economic expenditure. In the area of labor law brought some changes, which leads to qualify it as a mini-reform labor.  

A first modification concerns the issuance of CTPS (work and social security card) that will be made by the Ministry of Economy, preferably digitally, in order to optimize time, ie be faster, as well as economic. Thus, following the idea of reducing bureaucracy, the worker will be identified solely by his / her CPF. It is noteworthy that physical CTPS will continue to exist, however, as an exception.

Still regarding the work card, especially its notation, there was a change in its deadline that went from 48 hours to 5 working days, counted from the admission of the worker. With this, the worker should have access to the information regarding the notes of his work card within 48 hours. This lengthening of the deadline for annotation is more than reasonable, given that the former was too short for the employer to proceed with the contractual arrangements and is therefore an important relaxation because it allows for a better administrative organization of the company.

Another significant change refers to the employee point record as there is no longer a need for a discriminatory time frame of employees. Thus, the pre-annotations of the rest periods (intra-day feeding interval) became mere faculty. With regard to time entry and departure times, it is only mandatory for companies with more than 20 employees (in the previous legislation, companies with more than 10 employees were required). Therefore, small and medium-sized firms with up to 20 employees no longer have to compute their workers' working hours. 

The Economic Freedom Act brings yet another impact on labor law with regard to permitting point registration by exception, where the worker will only note times that do not coincide with those regularly established. In this regard, in practice, it should be authorized and observed what determines the individual or collective agreement, or even the collective labor agreement of the category.  

Under a scenario expressed in the reality existing in labor justice, if companies will implement the registration of point by exception with express authorization of the agreement or collective agreement of the category, what will happen is that in theory there will be no type of registration since that the working day is complied with today, or even, even in the case of overtime worked, but not recorded or accounted, if the employee sues the court to request the payment of the overtime, the burden of proving any fact in the As far as the working day is concerned, it will be entirely up to the employee, and therefore the company is under no obligation to demonstrate point control in the absence of law to do so.

This theme will lead to an important impact on labor law, given that the Colendo TST currently has a subtle position on British point control, ie one that has equal entry and exit times and understands that they are invalid. Therefore, there should be a change in labor jurisprudence in this regard.

Another novelty presented in the mini labor reform refers to banking, given that the legislation regulates that credit institutions may open on Saturdays, thus repealing Law No. 4178/1962 that disciplined the termination of bank work on Saturdays. So from now on all bank branches can open regularly on Saturdays.  

And yet, as regards the considerations surrounding the changes brought about in the field of labor law, there is also the end of the license for low-risk activities, ie, in small businesses will no longer be required the business license. However, this regulation is pending as it is in force, given that the Federal Executive Branch will still define what are the activities listed as low risk, in the absence of special discipline in state, district or municipal rules.  

Another innovation concerns the replacement of the E-social (digital bookkeeping system of tax, social security and labor obligations) that unified the sending of data on workers and will now be a digital system of labor and social security information aiming at principal of generating economy for companies.

Given this scenario of changes originated with the law of economic freedom, there is another significant, impactful and important update, not only with regard to labor law, but also to civil law, as it deals with the institute of disregard of legal personality. This is because it is disciplined that the legal entity is not confused with its partners, associates, institutions or administrators. That is, the responsibility for the legal entity is one and that comes from its partners is another and therefore do not mix. As a result, the assets of partners, associates, founders or administrators are not confused with those of the company in case of debt execution.

Now, this is a shield to the assets of the partners who will no longer be hit - often - arbitrarily by the labor courts, since from now on only in cases of crystal clear fraud intent can the partners have its social assets reached.

This same interpretation was given to economic groups, that is, in accordance with the new law of economic freedom the mere existence of economic group does not authorize the institute of disregard of legal personality to reach the assets of other companies of the group or partners, unless has found the abuse of legal personality due to misuse of purpose, ie fraud in order to harm creditors and commit unlawful acts.

Thus, I conclude that in fact the new law of economic freedom has had several impacts on labor justice, being considered a mini-reform of labor, because it has modified numerous situations that affect labor relations and that certainly will bring many changes in worker jurisprudence, seeking These innovative measures are designed to reduce bureaucracy in business and the prosperity of new companies in order to protect free enterprise and the pursuit of economic activity in a way that is accessible to the entire population.  



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Dr. Monalisa Maia

Lawyer specialized in labor law.