On July 13 2017, Brazil enacted Law 13.467 which changed
many aspects of Brazilian labour and employment law (the
Labour relations in Brazil have long called for a
legislative update that takes into account new forms of work,
giving greater dynamism and efficiency to the players involved
in the labour contract. The speed of change in the world of
labour has created legislative gaps due to the emergence of new
scenarios not regulated by current laws.
The Amendment filled many of these gaps but left others
open. It is true, however, that the changes introduced have, in
general, given greater autonomy to both employees and
employers, and also conferred greater power and flexibility to
collective bargaining, allowing companies to negotiate a wider
range of rights with unions.
An important change pertains to employees with college
degrees and salaries above BRL11,062.62 (around $3,532). These
employees will have greater flexibility to negotiate employment
terms and conditions such as working hours, variable
compensation schemes and use of arbitration for dispute
Outsourcing of any activity of a company, including its core
business, has become expressly authorised.
The Amendment also introduces consensual termination, in
which statutory severance is reduced by half.
It also possible to dismiss for cause employees who lose
their licence to practice their profession. Collective
dismissals and redundancies were equated to individual
terminations in respect to relevant procedures and severance
pay, waiving the need for consultation, prior approval or
negotiation with the respective unions to be considered lawful.
In addition, it is no longer mandatory to confirm employment
terminations with unions or the Labour Ministry.
Shareholder liability is also affected by the Amendment.
There is now a strict process to follow so that shareholders
may be affected by labour liabilities, while departing
shareholders can be held secondarily liable only with respect
to the period in which they were shareholders of the company,
provided that the relevant labour claim is filed within two
years of their departure.
The joint liability of companies within an economic group
has also changed. The simple identity of shareholders is not
enough to evidence an economic group: the companies must be
either controlled or managed by the same shareholder, or be
coordinated and acting jointly in pursuing integrated/common
Finally, although the union contribution is no longer
mandatory, the unions still retain the monopoly on collective
bargaining. The principle of union unity, according to which
there may be only one trade union representing a profession in
a given territory, remains in place.
|Gisela da Silva
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