In Venezuela, the labor laws are known as the Organic Law of Labor and Workers. The labor laws provide protection for employers and safeguard employees as well. Here are the latest updates to the Organic Law of Labor and Workers for 2021:
In Venezuela, the minimum wage for adult employees in the private and public sector is VES 250,000 per month ($3.61 USD). For adolescents and apprentices, it is VES 187500 per month. It is expected for the minimum wage to increase every year due to the hyperinflation begin experienced in the country.
For those employees who work during the day shift, their work schedule should not be more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. For those working at night, their working hours should not exceed 7 hours per night or 35 hours a week. Those employees who do not have scheduled hours, shift timings are usually for 7.5 hours during a single shift, totaling 37.5 hours per week.
However, some employees are exempt from these laws, and allowed to work for up to 12 hours each day and are given a minimum of one-hour rest or break periods. They include:
- Management employees who are responsible for making decisions in the company, as well as those who are representatives of the employer
- Inspection employees and guards who do not have to work continuously
- Employees whose job only requires them to be present on-site or those whose jobs are not continuous, meaning they have long stretches of inactivity during their work time and do not have to concentrate on anything specific, and are only required to remain at their work station to answer calls from time-to-time
- Employees who have a schedule designed by collective, mutual agreements between the worker and the employer
Female employees who are pregnant are entitled to six weeks off from work before they give birth and 20 weeks off after childbirth. During this time at home, these employees are entitled to 66.66% of their monthly salary, which comes from their social security. The Venezuelan law does not allow this amount to be more than five times the employee’s salary. Moreover, employees can pay their workers and then take the money out of their social security obligations.
After coming back to work post maternity leave, mothers are given two 30-minute breaks every day so that they can feed their children in the nursery, often located in workplaces. If there is no nursery, the mother is given a one-hour long break each day. In special cases, the breastfeeding period can go on for 12-months. This is when:
- There is no nursery in the workplace, and the employer does not provide an education service
- The employee has had a multiple birth
- The employee or the newborn suffers from health conditions
- These breaks are not deducted from the employee’s wage and are instead paid for by the employer
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