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Brazil: Labor Rights of Household Workers

(Mar. 27, 2013) On March 26, 2013, the Brazilian Federal Senate unanimously approved, on a second and final round, a constitutional amendment that extends to household workers the same rights and duties of all workers who are regulated by the Consolidated Labor Laws (Consolidação das Leis do Trabalho, Decreto-Lei No. 5.452, de 1 de Maio de 1943, PLANALTO.GOV.BR.)

“Household workers” includes persons who work in residences, such as janitors, gardeners, cooks, and babysitters. The amendment guarantees that the workers will have an eight-hour work day and a maximum of 44 hours of work per week. The workers will also be entitled, inter alia, to indemnification in case of unjustified dismissal, overtime payment at the rate of 50% over the regular hourly pay, and an additional amount of 20%, also over the regular hourly pay, if the work is performed after 10 p.m. (Mariana Jungmann, Senado Aprova PEC das Domésticas e Amplia Direitos das Trabalhadoras, AGÊNCIA BRASIL (Mar. 26, 2013).)

Persons who are less than 18 years old are not allowed to work at night or in positions that involve a dangerous or unhealthy activity. Persons under 16 years of age are not allowed to work at all, except as apprentices after reaching 14 years of age. According to the President of the National Congress, the constitutional amendment will be promulgated on April 2, 2013. (<?Id.)