Despite the fact that the Humanitarian Aid Law establishes measures that help households maintain their economic balance, such as deferral of loans, educational pensions and eviction in terms of tenancy, the greatest concern lies in the labor flexibility that it gives to the employer sector. .
The law was approved on May 15 by the National Assembly and is waiting to be vetoed or confirmed by the President of the Republic, Lenín Moreno.
The Government has indicated that the objective of the law is to guarantee the stability of employment for Ecuadorians under the covid-19.
Richard Martínez, Minister of Economy and Finance, assured that the agreement between the parties for the preservation of job sources, established in article 16, “will prevent dismissals.”
“Workers and employers may, by mutual agreement, modify the economic conditions of the employment relationship,” said article.
For this purpose, employers must clearly and completely present the support of the need to subscribe them so that the worker can make a decision. Once signed, the Ministry of Labor must be informed .
If a dismissal occurs within the first year of the law, the compensation will be calculated based on the remuneration received by the worker before the agreement.
Xavier Andrade works as a security guard and yesterday he and the company signed an agreement that establishes the suspension of employment until the end of the health emergency. The worker expects the agreement to be respected and to return to work as soon as possible.
For his part, José Villavicencio, president of the General Union of Workers of Ecuador (UGTE), considers this project as “the law of slavery”. Ensures that labor flexibility has been legalized in violation of job stability.
“If this law is applied, the worker could go on to earn 55% of his remuneration: $ 225,” he said.
Article 20 allows the employer to reduce the working day due to force majeure events or acts of God duly justified to a maximum of 50%.
Due to this situation, the Unitary Front of Workers (FUT) summoned the working class to take to the streets and carry out protests throughout the country to reject the Humanitarian Law. Once it is published in the Official Registry, they will file an unconstitutional claim.
Another sector that has rejected the Humanitarian Law is the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie), Apawki Castro, spokesperson for the entity, made reference to the basic salary, said that it is not enough to cover the Basic Family Basket that exceeds $ 700. “Now with the cuts thanks to labor flexibility it will be more difficult for the working class.”
La Conaie urges the Government to collect debts and interests from large economic groups and not affect the most vulnerable. “We remain firm in rejecting these measures,” he said.
However, labor lawyer Modesto Gerardo Apolo said that the fundamental right is to have a job and to be paid a fair wage.
For example, if the hourly value is $ 1.66 and for four hours they pay $ 6.64 “there is no job insecurity because they pay me the correct value for the number of hours worked.” It would be different if I worked 8 hours and they paid me half, he said.
Héctor Delgado, president of the Association of Young Entrepreneurs (AJE), explains that the measure gives flexibility to the employer according to the demand of his business, for example in tourism he can hire more staff on weekends. (I)
Humanitarian Law creates an emerging special contract
It is adefined-time employment contract that is held for the sustainability of production and sources of income in emergency situations, for new investments, or modification of the line of business.
For this type of contract, the working day may be partial or complete (between 20 and 40 hours per week),
distributed in a maximum of six (6) days without exceeding eight (8) hours daily.
The contract is concluded for a maximum period of two years and may be renewed only once.
The remuneration and benefits of the law will be proportional, according to the agreed working day. In the event of termination of the contract, the worker will be entitled to benefits calculated in accordance with the Labor Code.
At the end of the term of the contract or if the termination is given by unilateral decision, the worker will have the right to payment of pending remuneration, eviction bonus and other benefits of law. If the employment relationship continues within the term, the contract will be considered indefinite. (I)