Changes the Labor Market Needs

In Guatemala, the debate on the legalization of part-time employment was reactivated, but the regulation, which for years has been promised to be approved, is still not a reality.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The inflexibility of the Guatemalan labor market is an issue of concern to investors, since for years the authorities have been promising to support the necessary changes so that companies can hire staff for the periods they require and not always based on the standard schedule of eight or twelve hours.

In January 2017, the Guatemalan Congress approved International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 175, which sets standards for part-time employment and is based on the principles of proportionality and non-discrimination. At the time, this news was received with enthusiasm by the country's export sector.

See "Guatemala Approves Part-Time Employment" and "Guatemala and the Part Time Employment Law".

In August 2017, the Morales administration announced that it planned to have the first draft of the law regulating part-time work ready by September 2017, which should be approved by February 2018.

After multiple announcements and attempts to advance the issue, two years later part-time employment in the country is still not a reality. However, with the resumption of the discussion of the issue, its implementation could become a reality in 2019.

Roberto Ardón, executive director of the Coordinating Committee of Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial and Financial Associations (Cacif), told Prensalibre.com that "... an immediate effect for the national economy and especially for the labor market is that the Ministry of Labor (Mintrab) expedites the approval of ILO Regulation 175. One of the issues for this year is to publish the regulation, which will allow companies to hire staff for the time that is required, have access to coverage of a minimum wage and social security."

Ardon added that "... To enable people who need part-time work to earn an income, to support - in the economy - in households, and in the case of young people, to be able to pay for their studies. The regulation will formalize the part-time work that people are providing in the informal economy, and at the same time they will be able to access Social Security coverage and a minimum wage, which is currently something invisible."

More on this topic

Change Promise for the Labor Market

June 2019

Finally, in Guatemala the agreement was approved that will allow companies to hire part-time workers, which promises to be part of the solution to the unemployment problem affecting the country.

On June 27, Governmental Agreement 89-2019 was published in the Official Gazette, establishing the Regulations of Convention 175 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), which will regulate the hiring of part-time workers in the country.

Textile Sector Needs More Job Flexibility

May 2019

Because there is still no regulation for part-time employment in Guatemala, textile businessmen estimate that the country loses between 40 and 70 thousand jobs.

For representatives of the Costume and Textile Commission (Vestex), the high operating and labor costs in Guatemala cause businessmen to send cut pieces to Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua to be assembled.

Progress in Partial Employment Law

December 2018

In Guatemala, the law regulating part-time work has already been reviewed by the Attorney General's Office and awaits the approval of the Council of Ministers.

Although in August 2017, the Morales administration had planned to approve the law before February 2018, the process has been lengthening, and a government agreement must be issued for it to take effect.

Guatemala Approves Part-Time Employment

January 2017

The ILO Convention approved through Congress establishes a legal framework for hiring part-time employees, based on the principles of proportionality.

The Congress of Guatemala approved Convention 175 of the International Labour Organization (ILO), which sets standards for part-time employment and is based on the principles of proportionality and non-discrimination. 

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