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Chile Modified the Labour Code to Include Provisions on Telework (Law N. 21.220)

  • Chile passed a law on telework that allows for flexibility in the way work is organised, but it needs to be formalised into an agreement.
  • The law is among the measures to limit the Covid-19 pandemic.

On 26 March 2020, Chile enacted a new labour law regulating telework. Law N. 21.220 modifies the Chilean Labour Code by adding provisions for remote working and flexibilisation of working methods. With this new law, employees and employers are free to agree on the time for working remotely or in the company premises; they may decide on how to distribute the working hours, with a limit of maximum working hours and a minimum 12 hours of rest. The agreement between employers and employees shall contain information on how the employee will be supervised and must be registered with the Labour Directorate.

The law is claimed to be highly innovative for Latin America as it grants employees a right to disconnect. The law requires employers to provide employees with the necessary technological equipment to work from home and to inform employees about health and safety issues. Furthermore, a specific provision obliges employers to inform in writing employees on the existing and newly established trade unions at the company level. Chilean most representative Employers’ Organisation, Confederation of the Production and Commerce (Confederación de la producción y del comercio, CPC), called the Parliament to approve this law as soon as possible to facilitate the flexibility of working from home.

CPC President, Juan Sutil, considers an obligation "not only legal but also moral” for companies to provide facilities to workers in situations of this type. He added: “it is key to advance the enactment of the laws on labor adaptability and remote work”. 

President Piñera also positively reacted to the enactment of this law stating: “this form of telework will allow us to better protect ourselves from this pandemic coronavirus”.