Subsequent to the approval by the House of Representatives, the Federal Senate approved yesterday (August 03rd, 2022) the Conversion Law Project (PLV) 21/2022 arising from Executive Order No. 1,108/22 (“EO”), which contains several provisions regarding remote work and payment of meal allowance.
Among the main matters addressed, the text brings a new definition for teleworking, quite different from that provided by the Labor Reform dated of 2017. This modality is now configured as the provision of services outside the company’s premises, regardless of the frequency which employee comes to work in-person. In other words, even if the physical presence of the worker in the company to carry out specific activities is habitual, there is no misclassification of the regime of telework.
On the other hand, to greatly limit the concept of teleworking, the PLV provides that only teleworkers contracted to provide services by production or tasks fall under the exception of time tracking. Employees hired to provide services during a specific working schedule must have their hours of work tracked. This innovation will certainly originates an intense debate.
In addition, the collective bargaining agreements related to the territorial base of the employee’s establishment must be applied to teleworkers (which does not necessarily correspond to the location of the effective provision of services). Another aspect brought by the PLV is the application of Brazilian legislation to the employee admitted in Brazil who chooses to carry out telework outside the national territory, except for the provisions of Law No. 7,064/82, unless otherwise stipulated by the parties. Any expenses resulting from the conversion from the remote to the face-to-face regime, in the event that employee has opted for teleworking outside of the location provided in the labor agreement, will not be borne by employer.
The PLV also provides that the use of infrastructure and digital tools by the employee in any time apart from his/her work schedule does not constitute time available (unless otherwise agreed between the parties). It also authorizes the extension of this work regime to interns and apprentices, prioritizing its adoption by employees with disabilities and those with children or children under judicial custody up to 4 years old.
As for the meal allowance, the PLV determines that its use may only occur in restaurants and similar establishments or for the purchase of foodstuffs in commercial establishments. The measure aims to prevent the use of the allowance for the purchase of products or services not related to the food sector, providing that the deviation or distortion of its purposes will result in payment of fines by employers or companies responsible for issuing the allowance. Moreover, the PLV prohibits the granting of discounts to companies when contracting the allowance’s suppliers.
The text will now be submitted to presidential approval. The President of the Republic may sanction or ban it, in whole or in part, within 15 days. Any vetoes must be deliberated by the National Congress and the ratification (express or tacit) will result in the enactment of the project.
Our labor and social security teams are available to clarify any doubts on that matter.