Costa Rican Deputies Approve Extending the Term to Reduce Working Hours in Tourism and Other Productive Sectors

    Also sought is the advancement of a bill to improve labor inspection from the Ministry of Labor

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    Costa Rican National Assembly deputies approved in the first debate an extension of the reduction of working hours to four periods of three months, in various productive sectors. This is initiative 22,405 promoted by the Christian Socialist María Inés Solís, which establishes the sectors that can benefit from this rule. The project was approved with 41 in favor and 3 against and its second debate was set for next Thursday, April 22nd.

    The measure may be applied only for: the tourism sector, artistic, cultural and entertainment activities, as well as for regular route public transport services. In order to access this reduction in working hours, several requirements are established for employers who intend to benefit from this measure.

    Specifically, there are three:
    – The employer has not abused the mechanisms established by law
    – The employer has supported the employment of the people subject to the reduction of working hours to those who intend to extend the period of reduction
    – It is shown that the current conditions of the company are still affected

    Full hotels

    Two of the votes against were cast by Paola Vega and José María Villalta. The first, was opposed because at Easter, hotels were full despite having high prices that would be equivalent to a trip in Central America or Mexico, Vega exemplified. Additionally, together with Villalta, they argued the absence in the advancement of a bill to improve labor inspection from the Ministry of Labor.

    “If we want to legislate on this matter, it is urgent to strengthen labor inspection. It is not opportune, it is lying and we know it because otherwise the door will continue to open for abuse,” said Villalta. In contrast, the Christian Socialist Solís defended the impact that this sector has had since 2020.

    Concern for the tourism sector

    “There is a concern for the tourism sector as a result of the pandemic crisis, since they are mired in an economic crisis, which has them at a crossroads between the definitive closure or the dismissal of their collaborators,” said Solís.

    “In most cases, business owners want to keep their payroll intact in order not to plunge their workers into unemployment, the consequent lack of resources to support their families and meet their financial obligations, that is why they need it” , the legislator expanded.

    The authorities foresee that the recovery of the tourism industry will take between 2.5 and 4 years to reach a stabilization stage. The Government reported this Tuesday that 89,263 international arrivals were registered in March.

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