New MP on suspended employment contracts expected to come out this week

Considered a strong government man, Minister of Economy begins to be seen as a substitute (photo: Antonio Cruz / Agencia Brasil)

Despite the government’s assertion to interlocutors that new Provisional Measure (MP) which will deal with labor issues is ready, the new proposal to replace the MP 927/2020 polemic has not yet a date to be presented. The expectation that it will come out this week. Meanwhile, the current MP continues to generate controversies, despite the Jair Bolsonaro tArticle 18 was revoked, which allowed the employment contracts to be suspended for four months.

For Marcos Chehab, executive manager of the Independent Labor Advocacy Movement (Mati), MP 927, even with the revocation of article 18, remains problematic. For him, Article 2 is even more worrying, because it ends workers’ rights by determining that, during the state of public calamity, an individual agreement between employer and worker prevails over other normative instruments, respecting the limits established in the Constitution.

“Labor rights are regulated outside the Constitution. This article destroys workers’ rights ”, he criticized. “We know that there may be coercion from the worker to accept, for example, a reduction in salary, the payment of the 13th salary or vacation, meal vouchers. This will create controversy with the Ministry of Labor, ”he said.

In the opinion of the lawyer, the article in question “manages to be more harmful to labor relations than labor reform”. Chehab defended a direct action of unconstitutionality (ADI) against the matter.

The president of the Brazilian Lawyers’ Organization (OAB), Felipe Santa Cruz, sent a technical note to parliamentarians in which he points out another worrying article from MP 927, the 29th, which, according to him, allows the dismissal of the worker who contracts the coronavirus. “We hope that Congress will be able to correct misconceptions and unconstitutional biases,” he said.

PSol, PT and PCdoB filed an ADI against the measure in the Supreme Federal Court (STF). Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP) submitted a request to Congress President Davi Alcolumbre to return MP 927 to the Executive.

The subject divides opinions. For the president of the Brazilian Chamber of Civil Construction (Cbic), Jos Carlos Martins, there was no mistake and, without the MP, the sector, which employs 2 million workers, needs to fire. “If measures are not taken, more than half of this contingent, along with the entire supply chain, 62 sectors should lose their jobs,” he said.

New text

The MP that will replace 927 intends to make working relationships more flexible during the state of public calamity decreed because of the coronavirus. The text should include the article that allows the temporary suspension of employment contracts and was revoked by the president. The new version will make it clear that the government will bear part of the income of the affected workers. They will have access to a benefit such as unemployment insurance, which will be paid for by the Worker Support Fund (FAT).

It is still unclear, however, whether access will be to all insurance or just a part of the benefit. What the government promises that, counting a counterpart that would also be given by the employer, the worker will receive at least a minimum wage (R $ 1,045).

However, businessmen say that it is not possible to charge a very high compensation for those who needed to close their doors due to the pandemic and that, therefore, most of the compensation must be paid by the government.

The Ministry of Economy was limited to saying that “the proposal must be sent to Congress in the next few days” and that, after that, “the details for the implementation of the measures will be released”.

Despite the criticisms of labor organizations, businessmen claim that the key measure for maintaining jobs in companies that will have most of their income compromised by the coronavirus. “A way for these workers to remain connected to the company when activities return,” said the director of CBPI Institutional Productivity, Emerson Casali. For the president of Abrasel, Paulo Solmucci, the important thing is to guarantee that the government will help pay the employees’ salaries in this period of crisis.

Simone Kafruni and Luiz Calcagno collaborated

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