The new law for domestic employees comes into force today, Wednesday, April 3, after the PEC (Proposta de Emenda à Constituição or Proposed Amendment to the Constitution) that extends to these workers had been proclaimed yesterday by Congress.
Some rights, such as a maximum of 44 working hours a week – or 8 hours of work per day – and overtime pay, start today. Now, employers will no longer be able be able to demand that the domestic stay for more than eight hours on the job from Monday to Friday without paying more for it. On Saturdays, the maximum shift is four hours.
Some of the new rules, however, will not take effect immediately because they still need regulation of the Ministérios do Trabalho e da Previdência Social (Ministries of Labor and Social Security).
According to the minister Manoel Dias (Labor), rights like the collection of FGTS (Fundo de Garantia por Tempo de Serviço or Guarantee Fund for Time of Service) (1), night premium pay, day care assistance and child support will only take effect after the regulation.
The same goes for the 40% penalty on the balance FGTS in case of unfair dismissal and insurance against accidents and unemployment.
“Let’s do this work together, along with the government, the Civil House, so that we can within three months try to offer this regulation. President [Dilma Rousseff] is asking us to expedite. We will expedite in order to fulfill the desire of the president,” said the minister.
The minister said he believes that, in the short term, questions of employers and employees will be answered – without layoffs of domestics or permanent concerns of employers.
“People were frightened just before the time came. It will not change much because it is a very personal relationship. Working with the boss, they have a very close relationship.”
The ministry promised to make available on its website information related to anticipated changes in the PEC. He said the commission’s work that will examine the PEC will meet the deadline set for three months as part of the new rules will enter into force.
Besides the group created in the Ministry of Labor, the Civil House also created another with members of various ministries to discuss the regulations. In Congress, the commission that lawmakers created for the regulation of provisions of the Constitution will also begin work next week with the PEC of domestic workers.
Minister Ideli Salvatti (Institutional Relations) said that the provision of the government is “to expedite” the regulation. The reporting official of the committee of Congress, Senator Romero Jucá (PMDB-RR or Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro – Brazilian Democratic Movement Party of the state of Roraima), said that his intention is to propose the creation of a “Supersimples” (2) to facilitate the adoption of new benefits to domestic workers.
Ideli said Jucá’s proposal will be examined by the government. “We’ll have to check the possibility because it has implications. Certainly it will be examined.”
The president of the Congress Renan Calheiros (PMDB-AL Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro of the state of Alagoas), held a solemn session for the enactment of the PEC, to pay homage to domestics in the presence of several ministers. The Senate choir sang the song “Todo Mundo é Alguém (Everybody is Somebody)” by singer Erasmo Carlos, to honor workers.
Renan called the enactment of PEC a “historic day” for the legislature, like the abolition of slavery in the history of the country. “It is the law of inclusion; labor rights will be, from now on, for all – and not just some. It’s the burial of another prejudice, an intolerable discrimination.”
The president of the Câmara (House of Deputies) Henrique Eduardo Alves (PMDB-RN or Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro or Brazilian Democratic Movement Party of the state of Rio Grande do Norte), sent Deputy Andrew Vargas (PT-SP or Partido de Trabalhores/Workers Party of São Paulo) to represent him at the ceremony as he recovers from surgery.
In a message read by Vargas, Alves stressed the importance of domestic workers for Brazilian society. “History is written by men and women that put in practice their everyday experience.”
1. The FGTS (Fundo de Garantia do Tempo de Serviço or Guaranteed Fund for Time of Service) is a savings account opened by an employer on behalf of an employee and acts as a guarantee to protecting the employee in case of unfair dismissal. All registered workers in formal employment are entitled to FGTS.
2. The Super Simple or Simple National is a Complementary Law that established in 2007 the Status of National Statute of Micro and Small Enterprises. This enables companies listed, the option for the Unified Special Regime of Collection of Taxes and Contributions.