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Labor reform in Brazil. What changes?

July 28, 2017 - Thomas Jefferson Fowler


It was today (07.14.2017), on the Official Gazette of the Federal Executive, the publication of the law nº 13.467/2017. This law alters more than 100 subjects on the current Consolidated Labor Laws (CLT), allowing, among others changes, that the agreement between the employer and employees  prevail over the current legislation. Furthermore, this law makes relevant transformations in the life of companies and workers, such as: the envisage of Intermittent Labor; home office; the possibility of reduction of the meal break time; of fractioning vacations; the end of In itinere hours (transportation hours), etc..

Those changes should come into effect within 120 days after the publication of the law in the Official Gazette of the Federal Executive (07.14.2017).It’s important to note  that a draft of Provisional Measure has already been sent to the National Congress, with controversial matters that would be object of negotiation between the congressmen, result of the deal adapted for their approval.

Among the various subjects approached in the Labor Reform, it is worth to highlight some of big relevance:

  • Restricts the concept of Economic Group, whose members have the joint responsibility for payments of labor dues;

  • Reduces the power of the Labor Judiciary on creating duties that aren’t in the law

  • Regulates the Work from Home, establishing rights and obligations for both sides;

  • Establishes that collective rights formalized with unions  will prevail over the law, in certain subjects, prioritizing the negotiated over the legislated, providing greater autonomy to the parties;

  • Brings new guidelines to the Part Time Jobs, increasing their limits of hours, and  stipulates of additional hours;

  • Modifies rules related to working hours, breaks and vacation;

  • The time spent between home and company doesn’t count anymore as working time (transportation hours or “in itinere hours”);

  • Allows a free stipulation of some working conditions to employees with a higher degree and  a salary equal or bigger than BRL11,063 (current CAP of the benefit of social security), including the choice of mediation to the resolution of labor conflicts with the employers;

  • It cuts the obligation of union dues, allowing employees and companies to choose for paying (or not) union taxes, without affect the comprehensiveness of the collective agreements.

  • Creates rules and limitations for moral damage payments; and

  • Changes relevant procedural matters, limiting free justice and instituting attorney’s fee and fine for those who act with malicious intent.

The list above is not exhaustive neither aim for detailing the changes. Furthermore, it is safe to wait how the Labor Court will act about certain changes brought by this reform.

Our team of specialists are ready to clarify and improve the questions in here approached and even any other matter related to this theme.