international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

Chile: Entry into Force of the Reduction of Working Hours to 44 Hours Per Week

By the end of this month, Law No. 21.561, which reduces the working hours, will enter into force. Taking this into account, on 5th April 2024, the Labour Directorate issued Report No. 213/07, wherein it ruled on the distribution and adaptation agreements for the new ordinary working day.

Regarding the distribution, the ruling points out that if no agreement has been reached between the parties on the adjustment of the normal working hours, the employer may unilaterally reduce them, provided that the following conditions are met:

– The employer must provide the employee or the union with a written proposal for a reduction in working hours.

– The employer cannot refuse to receive a written proposal from the employee.

However, the authority requires that at least the employer demonstrate that it has made a proposal to the workers or unions before unilaterally implementing the adjustment.

Finally, it is stated that there is no legal obstacle to the reduction of the working day being carried out at the end or at the beginning of the worker’s working day, by agreement between the parties.

The other issue addressed in the ruling is regarding the two categories of ordinary working time: (a) 40 hours per week, based on a fixed and regular distribution of daily and weekly working hours; and (b) distribution based on weekly averages in cycles of up to four weeks. In relation to this second option, the Labour Directorate states that if the employment relationship is terminated before the completion of the cycle agreed between the parties, the payment will be equal to the difference between the excess hours worked and the average of 40 hours to complete the cycle.