In the next few days, Congress will begin to discuss the draft labor reforms of the Government of Gustavo Petro that seeks to give employees greater protection with better remuneration and guarantees, while experts have warned of its possible impact on employment.

The paper for the first debate has 82 articles, of which there is already a consensus in the parties in 46 of them. However, the rest will be defined in the middle of the legislative debate that will have to take place until June 20, when the legislature ends, and if they are not enough, extra sessions would be called.

EL TIEMPO compiled some of the changes that will come in labor matters and that will directly affect it.

You can also read: Small businesses launch an SOS: «We can’t stand a labor reform»

What time would the nightly surcharges start?

Daytime work would go from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. After that time it would be considered night work and, therefore, would have a recharge.

Limit on overtime

In no case may overtime work hours, day or night, exceed 2 hours a day and 12 hours a week. When the working day is extended by agreements between employees and workers to 9 hours a day, only one extra hour may be worked on the same day.

Here the security and health sectors are excepted.

The Government announced a new working day.

Sunday and holiday payments

Work on mandatory rest days or holidays would be remunerated with a 100% recharge (Today it is 75%) on the ordinary salary in proportion to the hours worked.

Its implementation would be gradual as follows:

– As of July 2024, the surcharge will increase by 80%.
– As of July 2025, the surcharge will increase by 90%.
– As of July 2026, the surcharge will be fully applied.

The foregoing, without prejudice to the fact that, upon the entry into force of this law, the worker is collected at the 100% surcharge.

Also read: Alert loss of 100,000 jobs in temporary service companies for work

Count of overtime

The legislative initiative states that the worker must carry out a record of the supplementary work of each worker in which the name, activity carried out and number of hours worked will be mentioned, with the precision of whether they are day or night.

And that it would be delivered to the worker together with the payroll slip.

how many hours would you have to work?

It is understood that the maximum duration of the ordinary day of work is 8 hours a day, and that the maximum work week is 42 hours. These may be distributed, by mutual agreement, between employee and worker, 5 or 6 days a week, always guaranteeing the day of rest.

Colombia is among the countries in the region with a long working day.

It is sought that the indefinite employment contract is the rule

The reform seeks that workers and workers are linked an indefinite term as a general rule and that only exceptionally can employment contracts be entered into for a specific time or for the duration of the performance of a work or task.

The text says that the worker may terminate his contract by giving a notice of 30 calendar days for the employee to replace him. In addition to this, a paragraph was added specifying that this notice does not apply, for example, if the resignation is induced by the employee.

In which cases do fixed-term and work or work contracts apply?

In the paper for the first debate on the labor reform, it is indicated that fixed-term contracts can last between 1 month and 3 years. In the original government proposal it was up to 2 years.

It is also explained that in the contracts for the duration of the work or work, the time and specific work to be carried out must be specified in writing and in detail.

And that if for whatever reason the work lasts longer than that period of time, it would be understood that it is an indefinite-term contract. In both cases, workers will be entitled to vacation pay and social benefits in proportion to the time worked.

Which people will have special protection?

The reform establishes that a group of people will have special protection and they can only be fired if there is just cause or legal cause. To do this, you must have an authorization before an administrative or judicial authority.

The people who will have special protection would be:

– Those covered by the union privilege (founders, members of union boards of directors, …)

– Those covered by the reinforced occupational stability jurisdiction, such as people with disabilities.

– Women or people in pregnancy and up to 6 months after delivery. Also their partners if they do not have a formal job.

– Pre-pensioners, that is, those who are 3 years away from reaching pension age.

– Those who have «circumstantial jurisdiction». The text says that they are people who directly benefit from a collective bargaining process, from the presentation of the list of demands and until the date on which the collective conflict ends. (This section was not in the original government proposal).

Do not stop reading: ABC of the changes that would come to the pension system in Colombia

Compensation for unfair dismissal:

When there is a termination of the contract in an unjustified manner the company will have to pay compensation to the employee. The cost of this was higher in the original Government proposal and has now been reduced:

The compensation would be the following:

– In fixed-term contracts, the compensation will correspond to the value of the salaries corresponding to the time remaining to meet the stipulated term of the contract or its extension. In no case will the compensation be less than 45 days of salary.

– In employment contracts for the duration of the work or contracted work, the compensation will correspond to the time that is missing to complete the contracted work or work. In no case will the compensation be less than 45 days of salary.

When there is an unjustified termination of the contract, the company will have to pay compensation to the employee

– In indefinite-term contracts, compensation will be paid as follows:

to) It would be 35 days of salary (in the original proposal it was 45) when the worker has a period of service of no more than one year;

b) If the worker has more than one year of continuous service and less than 5, he will be paid 15 additional days of salary over the basic 35 of literal a), for each of the years of service subsequent to the first, and proportionally for fraction;

c) If the worker has 5 or more years of continuous service and less than 10, they will be paid an additional 30 days of salary over the basic 35 of subparagraph a), for each of the years of service subsequent to the first, and proportionally for fraction; and

d) If the worker has 10 or more years of continuous service, he will be paid an additional 60 days of salary over the 35 basic days of literal a), for each of the years of service subsequent to the first, and proportionally by fraction.

Can it be outsourced?

The text says that they are contractors and subcontractors Those who hire for the benefit of third parties the execution of works, works or the provision of services, for a determined price.

However, it is established that these workers must have the same wage and benefit rights as those of the main company, especially in terms of the application of collective agreements.

Minister Gloria Inés Ramírez in the filing of the labor reform.


labor ministry

What will happen to temporary service companies?

The reform says that contracts cannot be entered into with the temporary service companies when the activities are permanent.

In addition, it says that the workers on mission will have the same working conditions and the same salary and benefits rights that the workers of the user company will receive. Applying criteria of training, efficiency and experience.

What will the apprenticeship contracts be like?

The project says that the Apprenticeship contract It is a special labor contract and fixed term, which is governed by the same rules of the Substantive Labor Code.

During the entire term of the relationship, the person will receive remuneration from the company that, in no case, will be less than the current legal minimum wage.

Also that affiliations to the General Social Security System will be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the regulations that regulate the matter.

Rappi workers went out to demonstrate on March 28 against the labor reform of the Government of Gustavo Petro.


Sergio Acero/Time

What is established about digital platforms?

The presentation for the first debate on the labor reform defines what a digital worker and a delivery technology platform are.

Regarding the employment contract, he says that the workers of delivery or distribution platforms (such as rappi) They will agree with the management companies on their employment relationship through a special or alternative employment contract, with all the rights and guarantees provided for dependent workers.

It also indicates that these companies must implement non-discrimination policies.