With the advance of the vaccination throughout Brazil, on-site activities are being resumed. At the moment, companies need to pay extra attention to what is and what is not allowed in the return to the office.
In order to provide an overview and clarify doubts pertaining to the subject, Drummond Advisors promoted the “Return to the office: best labor practices webinar”.
Daniel Rangel, Head of the Labor Law department of Drummond Advisors, and João José Magalhães Soares, Electrical and Occupational Safety Engineer, were the panelists. Pedro Drummond, partner at Drummond Advisors, was the discussion moderator.
Check below the key points addressed during the event:
Importance of employment contracts in the return to the office
According to the panelists, it is essential that, in every operation in the labor law environment, there is contractual formalization.
At the beginning of the pandemic, when companies sent their employees to work from home, a contractual amendment was executed to formalize this change. This also applies to the return to the office, which requires the formatting of a new amendment that addresses such return and establishes what is and what is not allowed within the new context.
Such amendment may include what is the responsibility of the company and of the employee according to the safety regulations pertaining to COVID-19.
Experts observe that the hybrid working regime, part home office, part on-site, has become one of the employees’ favorites. However, interestingly, the labor legislation does not address this issue, therefore it is extremely important for the companies and employees to formalize this relationship.
When there is a legal vacuum, such as this case, it is crucial that companies fill this lack of legislation with a well-structured contract.
Vaccination and requirement
The stance of the Ministry of Labor is that the company’s responsibility is towards the life of every employee. The community matters much more than an individual who refuses to get vaccinated and may put the entire staff at risk. However, dismissal should the last resource in case of vaccine refusal, warnings and discipline should be applied first.
Care in the return to the office
When planning the return to the office, companies must check with municipal ordinances say regarding mandatory health care and create their own safety measures based on such guidelines. Use masks at all times and invest in the installation of acrylic barriers in indoor environments are important and frequent measures. It is necessary to educate employees on the need to take appropriate precautions.
Contamination at work and resulting from work
In the event of contamination within the work environment, the key issue is to establish the exact moment of the occurrence. Labor Court has determined three aspects of the company’s responsibility in such situations:
- For healthcare companies there is an objective responsibility regarding the employee contaminated with COVID-19, since associates are directly exposed.
- The company that fails to adopt prevention measures must be held accountable.
- The company non concerned with the safety protocols will be penalized
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