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    Changes in Exceptional Days in Costa Rica Make the Project Unfeasible for the Productive Sector

    The Exceptional Days bill has been under discussion for more than 20 years

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    The Costa Rican Chamber of Industries (CICR) considers that replacing the general guidelines of the Bill of Law File 21,182, known as 4×3 Days or Exceptional Days, with the inclusion of a series of definitions to a text that is only a reform of some articles, could contradict the terms already contemplated in the Labor Code. “The Exceptional Hours bill has been discussed for more than 20 years. It has been thoroughly reviewed, both from the legal point of view and from the best international labor practices. To change its spirit is to throw overboard the multi-sectoral work of many years”, remarked Sergio Capón, president of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica.

    Motions that propose that working hours will no longer be 12, but 12 for 3 years; then 11, and then 10, are elements that make them unfeasible to apply, taking into account the reality of the production processes. This will stimulate the opening of new production shifts for established companies or attract new companies that need this option.

    Applies to a limited number of productive activities

    For the ICRC, it is important to note that the project applies to a limited number of productive activities, it is voluntary and its design contemplates the strictest occupational health measures, with rest schemes specially designed for this modality of work. “The project contemplates 90 minutes of rest (30 additional minutes to what is commonly given in current shifts), which converts the real time worked into 10.5 hours a day. This would imply 42 effective hours worked weekly during the daytime shift, versus the upper limit of 48 hours established by the Political Constitution. Likewise, for the night shift, 31.5 effective hours would be worked versus 36 weekly hours, which is the limit according to the Political Constitution”, explains Enrique Egloff, executive president of the Chamber of Industries of Costa Rica.

    For the ICRC, this new formal work option to those that exist today (Day, Night and Mixed), will increase job opportunities, because it solves unmet productive needs: such as the time change and the continuous production processes that robotization demands of us. This is extremely important for established companies and new investments that the country needs.

    This bill, in addition to opening new job opportunities, allows working people to find greater conditions of flexible hours, to reconcile the work environment with their personal, family, and academic time, among other areas that support the well-being and balance of the people. All this combined with a strengthening of the care network to guarantee support for workers who opt for this system.

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