The President of the Republic sanctioned, with vetoes, the Conversion Law Project (PLV) No. 21/2022, arising from Executive Order No. 1,108/22 (“EO”), which brought new provisions regarding remote work, meal allowance and residual balances of union contributions. Law No. 14,442/22 was published today (September 05th, 2022) in the Official Gazette.
With regards to the remote work, the new law confirms the changes introduced by the PLV. Among the main matters addressed, a new definition for teleworking was brought, quite different from the one provided by the Labor Reform dated of 2017. This modality is now configured as the provision of services outside the employer’s premises, regardless of the frequency which employee works in-person. In other words, even if the physical presence of the worker at the company´s premises to carry out specific activities is usual, there is no mischaracterization of the regime of telework.
On the other hand, to limit the concept of teleworking, the new law provides that only teleworkers contracted to provide services by production or task fall under the exception of time tracking. Thus, employees hired to provide services during a specific working schedule must have their working hours tracked. This innovation is already being a very polemic matter.
In addition, the collective bargaining agreements related to the territorial base of 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 new law 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 agreement, will not be borne by employer.
The PLV also provides that the use of infrastructure and digital tools by 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 to employees with disabilities and those with children or children under judicial custody up to 4 years of age.
As for the meal allowance, there was partial confirmation of the changes introduced by the PLV. The new law expressly determines that its use may only occur in restaurants and similar establishments or for the purchase of foodstuffs in commercial establishments, aiming to prevent the use of the benefit for the acquisition of products or services not related to the food sector. There is even a provision for the payment of fines in case of deviation from this purpose by employers or companies responsible for issuing the allowance.
In this regard, in view of the impossibility of distorting the original purpose of the meal allowance, the President vetoed one of the provisions of the PLV, previously approved by the National Congress, which authorized the worker to withdraw the unused balance at the end of 60 days.
The former PLV also determined the obligation to refund to the union any residual balances not transferred to these bodies by the Federal Government. This provision was vetoed by the President, who stated that this measure would result in potential administrative and judicial disputes.
Vetoes issued by the President must be deliberated by the National Congress within 30 days. If the veto is rejected, the corresponding parts of the PLV shall be promulgated by the President within 48 hours, or, in his absence, by the President or Vice-President of the Federal Senate within the same period.
Our labor and social security teams are available to clarify any doubts on the matter.