A document that contains 10 specific issues to advance in the labor reform process presented yesterday by the country’s merchants, members of the National Federation of Merchants (Fenalco) to the National Subcommittee on Labor Reform as an input for the project that will be presented to the Legislature in mid-March.

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According to the union, the initiatives aim at «more formal employment, flexibility without precariousness and less costs for companies.» In addition, it recommends not ending the outsourcing, as well as eliminating the surcharge for those activities that by their nature can only be carried out at night, favoring the development of ‘awakened cities’.

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The merchants also propose guaranteeing the payment of social benefits according to the hours worked in the case of part-time work and evaluate the scope of the guarantees for reinforced job stability so that they do not generate effects of partial negative discrimination and given that they are already implemented by many employers as a result of good self-regulation practices.

They also call for the evaluation of cases in which the worker does not require the hiring of SENA apprentices and, additionally, that the training of this institution be adjusted to the true needs of employers.

Another suggestion is that in the reform the figure of prior notice for the resignation of workers without just cause be adopted again.

Fenalco considers that it is necessary for the reform to clarify the modalities of working at home or hybrid and define the relationship of digital platforms with their collaborators, who are mostly service providers.

The merchants’ union considers that «it is not prudent to modify the scope of the principles of article 53 of the Constitution (equality, stability, inalienability of rights, protection of women, etc.), since these are developed by jurisprudence (judicial branch) to apply them to specific cases and their content responds to the evolution of social needs”.

«The fact of including or modifying definitions in the law on these aspects has the risk of «freezing» their interpretation, which must fluctuate in accordance with the evolution of economic activities and social needs.»

Jaime Alberto Cabal, president of Fenalco, said that «commerce, which generates 26.3 percent of the country’s employment, maintains its concern regarding some changes announced regarding the working day, which could increase the costs of businessmen by up to 17 percent”.

He assured that the Government’s challenge is to design measures to eliminate unemployment and informality in labor matters, situations that will make the nearly 15.4 million Colombian inhabitants who are part of the economically active community disappear, without increasing costs for businessmen, promoting disruptive economic activities and facilitate new working relationships.