Any company or establishment with ten or more workers must adopt internal workplace regulations as established in article 191 of the Labor Code.

This obligation imposed by law on employers has become an increasingly pressing necessity, since it is the document that establishes the mandatory conditions to which both parties, employer, and workers, must submit in the development of the employment relationship.

The employment contract contains important conditions of the employment relationship, such as terms, descriptions of work functions, working hours, salary, and place of service, but it is lacking. There are other working conditions which, as they are of general application and mandatory compliance for workers, must be regulated in the internal workplace regulations. Standing out the following: (i) attendance, tardiness, and absences from work days, as well as their form of justification or admonishment  if it was not justified; (ii) permits for domestic calamity, to attend family members’ burial or marriage permit; (iii) procedure for unpaid leave for personal matters; (iv) the obligations and prohibitions of workers, as well as sanctions for their breach; (v) the obligations and prohibitions of employers; (vi) the Work Council operation, among others.

In addition, the internal workplace regulations are the instrument in which the policy to prevent, prohibit and punish discriminatory acts, as well as to prevent gender-based violence, must be included. It should also set out measures to prevent occupational risks, to protect workers’ life and health, including the conditions of workers suffering from chronic and degenerative diseases.

The labor authorities are rigorous in ensuring compliance with article 191 of the Labor Code, which establishes the obligation to maintain internal workplace regulations, and article 189 of the Code, which provides for the mandatory revision of the rules already adopted when new legal provisions are introduced. Failure to comply with these rules may result in a fine of US$50.00 to US$250.00 by the Department of Labor.

Therefore, having an up-to-date internal workplace regulation provides the company with a fundamental tool to run its business, including the ability to impose disciplinary sanctions for administrative misconduct by its workers, control that could not be exercised if such regulations were not approved. On the other hand, it gives workers transparency regarding the rules that must be abide in the provision of their work.

Leopoldo Padilla

Attorney in  Alcogal

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