WORK PROMOTION FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

On March 6, Law No. 19,691 regulating the employment of people with disabilities in the private sector came into force.

I. Area of application

Employers of private activity that have 25 or more permanent workers, in all new personnel hiring starting November 18, 2018 , must employ people with disabilities who meet conditions and aptitudes for the position, in the following percentages applied to all of its permanent workers:

1) From November 18, 2018 to November 17, 2019:

a) Employers with 500 or more workers: 3%.
b) Employers with 150 or more workers but less than 500: 2%.
c) Employers with 50 or more workers but less than 150: 1%.

2) From November 18, 2019 to November 17, 2020:

a) Employers with 500 or more workers: 4%.
b) Employers with 150 or more workers but less than 500: 3%.
c) Employers with 50 or more workers but less than 150: 2%.
d) Employers with less than 50 workers: 1,5%.

3) From November 18, 2020 to November 17, 2021 :

a) Employers with 500 or more workers: 4%.
b) Employers with 150 or more workers but less than 500: 3,5%.
c) Employers with 50 or more workers but less than 150: 3%.
d) Employers with less than 50 workers: 2%.

4) As of November 18, 2021, 4% in all cases.

II. The regulation determines how the labor callings should be

To this end, it provides that the dissemination of the calls for each labor calling made by employers included in the law, should be appropriately indicated by the company that said calling includes people with disabilities, who meet the conditions and aptitudes for the positions in question and, where appropriate, the minimum number of posts that are expected to be filled with such people in the aforementioned calling.

III. Performance of the disabled worker with work support

Law 19,691 established that people with disabilities may require support from their employer to be able to comply with labor obligations.

The aforementioned support can be oriented to aspects such as adaptations, identification of peers, mentor partners or natural supports, among others.

In the case of the support provided by the Labor Operators, the cost of their services will be paid by the Ministry of Social Development. Consequently, the Ministry of Social Development will evaluate the need or not of the presence of a labor operator in each case.

If the decision in this regard is negative, the company may also hire, on its own and at its sole cost, the labor operators it deems necessary.

IV. Obligations for the employer

By virtue of the Law, the employer must generate adequate accessibility conditions in accordance with Law 18,651 and the worker's job performance.

The regulation establishes that employers may request technical advice from the General Inspectorate of Labor and Social Security.

V. Rights of workers with disabilities

Workers with disabilities who are employed under Law 19.691, will enjoy all the rights and obligations under the labor regulations.
In addition, the referred workers will be holders of the specific rights that the regulation under analysis creates for them:

- TERMINATION.The termination of any person with disabilities must obey a reasonable cause, which is related to an attitude of the employee or based on the needs of the company or another sufficient entity to justify the decision taken.
- The employer must prove this reasonable cause, and if not, they must pay the worker an amount equivalent to six months of salary, in addition to the compensation for legal termination that corresponds.

- EXTRAORDINARY LEAVE WITHOUT PAY. Workers with disabilities will have the right to apply for an extraordinary leave without pay for a maximum period of three months, which may be computed continuously or discontinuously.
Decree 73/19 clarifies that adjustments should be made pro rata for the calendar years in which the time of labor relationship has been less than one calendar year.

VI. Benefits for companies that employ staff with disabilities

It is expected that employers who execute works of accessibility or adaptation of workplaces in order to enable the performance of the hired personnel with disabilities, may be included in the benefits of Law 16.906 (Investment and Industrial Promotion).

The new law also provides that the employer pension contribution to be poured into the B.P.S. by workers with disabilities, will be paid gradually. For this purpose during the first year of work, a 25% will be provided, while upon completion of the three years of work, the 100% of the pension will be provided.

VII. Registration of employers and people with disabilities

Any person with a disability who wants to qualify for the benefits of the labor insertion regulation must register with the National Registry of People with Disabilities.

On the other hand, to access the benefits and incentives provided by Law 19,691, employers must be duly registered in the registry that for this purpose will work in the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

Montevideo, March 2019