I. AS OF 11/18/2019, THERE HAS BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE PERCENTAGE OF HIRING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
We briefly recall that Law 19.691 imposes the obligation on employers of private activity to hire personnel with disabilities, provided that they have 25 or more permanent workers in their workforce and in accordance with certain percentages established by the provision and that will increase in time.
In this regard, during the second year of the law´s validity, which extends from 11/18/2019 to 11/17/2020, the rule in question provides that private companies, according to the number of permanent workers in their workforce must hire the percentages that are detailed that refer only to workers with disabilities:
A) Employers with 500 or more workers: 4%.
B) Employers with 150 or more workers and less than 500: 3%.
C) Employers with 50 or more workers and less than 150: 2%.
D) Employers with less than 50 workers and more than 25: 1.5%.
Finally, as of 11/18/2020, these percentages will be increased again.
II. MODIFICATION TO THE FOOD TICKET SCHEME
In terms of food tickets we have two changes; the first of them came into force in January 1st, 2020 and was instrumented by Law 19.732 thus giving new wording to Art. 167 of Law 16.713; and the second one was ordered on 12/23/2019 by Law 19.853.
II. 1. One of the modifications refers to when the food tickets constitute taxed matter: The feeding of the workers that the employer assumes, whether it is provided in kind or in cash, will not constitute taxable matter or computable allowance up to a maximum daily value equivalent to 100 IU ($ 436,78) as of January 1st, 2020.
The regulation determines that for this purpose, the value of the indexed unit as of January 1st of each year will be taken into account, so the modification will be made only on January 1st of each year (1 indexed unit = $ 4,3678).
II.2. The second modification provided on 12/23/2019 is related to the institution issuing electronic money, who receives funds from employers to credit the amount of the workers' food item on electronic money cards.
Law 19.853 extended until January 1st, 2021, the entry into force of Art. 24 of Law 19.210, which provides that the issuing institution of electronic money that receives the funds for the payment of food tickets, not may charge any of the parties any charge for the provision of such services.
III. RECRUITMENT OF WORK PREVENTION AND HEALTH SERVICES
We recall that by Decree 126/019, subsection 2 of article 16 of Decree 127/014 was repealed, and in that sense, the mandatory implementation of Prevention and Occupational Health Services for companies and institutions was envisaged for companies with more than 300 workers, whatever the branch of activity or commercial, industrial, rural or service nature and whether or not for profit, both in the public and private spheres.
On the other hand, for companies that have between 50 and 300 workers, they will be progressively incorporated according to the list by branches and sector of activity that the National Occupational Health and Safety Council should propose to the Executive Power, according to the mechanism foreseen in the aforementioned Article 16.
Finally, within a maximum period of 18 months from the entry into force of Decree 126/019, all companies and institutions with more than 5 workers, whatever the nature of their activity, must have Prevention and Health Services at work.
The 18 month period is set in November 2020.
Therefore, all companies with more than 5 workers, as well as those that have between 50 and 300 workers that have not been previously incorporated to constitute the services in question, will automatically be obliged to install the Health and Prevention Services as from November of 2020.
IV. EMPLOYER COMPTROLLER OF THE VOTE ISSUANCE OF HIS WORKERS
In accordance with Circular 10.968 of the Electoral Court, it was decided to unify the term for the comptroller of the obligation to vote, issued both in the national elections of October 27th, 2019 and November 24th, 2019.
The deadline to exercise said comptroller will begin on March 23rd, 2020 and will be extended for 120 days.
In accordance with Art. 11 of Law 16.017, private activity workers who do not prove their vote in the last national elections, or fail the payment of the corresponding fine, may not collect their respective salaries.
In this sense, the control must be carried out by the employer, and in case of not performing the same, it may be subject to a fine equivalent to 10% of the monthly nominal salary of the worker in question. In case of recurrence, the fine will be doubled.
V. DISCRETION ON THE IDENTITY OF COMPLAINANTS AND WITNESSES IN THE INSPECTIONS CARRIED OUT BY THE MINISTRY OF LABOR AND SOCIAL SECURITY
On December 23rd, the Legislative Power passed Law 19.854 through which the reserve of identity of witnesses and complainants is regulated in inspections carried out by the General Labor Inspectorate.
In this sense, the regulation in question provides that the General Labor Inspectorate will have broad powers of investigation in motivated complaints or situations affecting the freedom of association, moral harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
In said framework, when the Inspection proceeds through an instructive diligence to interrogate persons related to those involved, it will do so individually, in a reserved manner, and without identifying in the file the data of the deponents, which will be collected in a separate document that will be attached to it and will remain under the protection of the Inspection for a period of five years, in the case that they are requested by the competent justice.
VI. RATIFICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION No. 190 OF ILO
By Law 19.849 dated December 23rd, 2019, Uruguay was the first country to ratify International Convention No. 190 on violence and harassment in the world of work.
Once this is ratified, Uruguay is obliged to adopt the legislation that requires employers to take appropriate measures in accordance with their degree of control to prevent violence and harassment in the world of work, including violence and harassment on the basis of gender.
Montevideo, January 2020