Starting in 2018, new regulations on the labor inclusion of the disabled take effect. The purpose of the new "Labour Inclusion Law" is to promote the use of employees with disabilities in both the public and private sectors.
The main issues it addresses are the following:
- Companies or public organisations with 100 or more employees, must have at least 1% of their workforce comprised of disabled employees.
- The law assures respect and dignity for people with mental disabilities eliminating wage discrimination.
- The age limit to subscribe to what is known as the "Learning Contract" for people with mental disabilities is set at 26 years.
- Any discrimination against people with disabilities is strictly prohibited.
- Government agencies, State-owned companies and public institutions listed in the law, under equal merits, will prefer disabled employees in their hiring processes.
Employees considered to have a disability under this law are those that receive a disability pension or have any disability previously qualified by the Commissions of Preventive Medicine and Disability (COMPIN), dependent of the Ministry of Health.
Compliance with these new regulations will be carried out by the Labour Office. For this matter, the Labour Office will require that every single work contract is uploaded to their website within 15 days from which the worker is hired.
Although this regulation sounds demanding, there are several exemptions for companies who have more than 100 workers but cannot fulfill the 1% required by law.
In this regard, if for well-founded reasons certain companies are not able to comply with the 1% rate, there are alternative mechanisms, which are:
- To have executed contracts for the provision of services with companies that have hired people with disabilities.
- Making donations in cash to projects or programs of associations, corporations or foundations referred to in article 2 of Law Nº19,885.
To be able to opt into one of these alternative methods of compliance, it will be necessary to prove either:
- The nature of the jobs prevents the company from contracting people with disabilities.
- There is a proven lack of interest in the job position postings that have been duly provided to people with disabilities.
In our opinion, any company with more than 100 workers that need to use the alternative mechanism of compliance and cannot fulfill all the requirements set forth by the law, should be certified by independent third parties to avoid sanctions.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.