Executive Order no. 1,046 was issued today, reinstating employment related measures to deal with the public health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It contains provisions of the former Executive Order no. 927 but with some relevant updates.
The following measures, among others, may be adopted by Brazilian employers for up to 120 days: (i) telecommuting, (ii) advance of individual vacation, (iii) grant of collective vacation, (iv) advance of holidays, and (v) bank of hours, besides the (vi) suspension of administrative measures relating to health and safety at work, and (vii) deferral the Severance Indemnity Fund (FGTS) payment.
One of the innovations of Executive Order no. 1,046 is the authorization for companies that perform “essential activities” to create a special regime for the offset of working hours through a bank of hours, during the period of 120 days.
The Executive Order also innovates when it authorizes the suspension of the obligation to carry out occupational, clinical and supplemental medical examinations during the period of 120 days, except when it comes to termination exams of employees that are working remotely (e.g. telecommuters). The previous Executive Order no. 927 provided the same legal treatment to all workers, making no distinction for teleworkers. Order no. 1,046 also keeps the obligation to carry out occupational examinations and periodic trainings for health workers and support areas in hospital environments, which will have priority for coronavirus testing provided for in the occupational health and safety standards or international regulations. The obligation to carry out trainings (both periodic or occasional) for current employees, as provided for in regulatory standards for safety and health at work, has also been suspended for a period of 60 days.
Further, Executive Order no. 1,046 contains an express provision that professional qualification programs sets forth in article 476-A of the Brazilian Labor Code may be offered by employers exclusively in remote fashion and should last at least 1 month and no more than 3 months.
Regarding vacation, differently from the previous Executive Order no. 927, the new Order makes it clear that the vacation to be advanced can be individual or collective, clarifying that advanced vacation for employees whose vacation acquisition period had not been fully completed may be deducted from the severance payment upon termination, as the case may be.
Finally, the Executive Order also allows the use of electronic means to comply with all formal requirements for meeting, deliberating, formalizing and advertising collective bargaining agreements.
Our employment team remains available to provide you with any clarification about the order just issued.