Colombia’s Ministry of Labour has introduced a new calendar for reporting variations in a company´s payroll that affect the apprenticeship quota applied to that company.

Authors: Catalina Santos, Daniela Caicedo Callejas

Firm: Brigard & Urrutia Abogados

On 27 July 2018 the Colombian Ministry of Labour issued Decree 1334 of 2018, which modified the dates to report changes in employee headcount, as well as the percentage of apprentices in an organisation voluntarily engaged through the National Apprenticeship Service (‘SENA’).

Under Colombian law, all employers hiring more than 15 employees are obliged to hire an apprentice from SENA. Companies hiring between 15 and 20 employees are obliged to hire one apprentice, and one additional apprentice has to be hired for each increment of ten additional employees

According to the Decree, whenever there is a modification in the number of employees which affects the minimum apprenticeship quota, the company must communicate this in writing to the appropriate SENA regional office for the company’s main domicile. The notification can be made either in July and January or in March and September, as follows:

  • During the first ten business days of July, the company must report its headcount from January to June of the current year.
  • During the first ten business days of January the company must report its headcount from July to December of the immediately preceding year.
  • During the first ten business days of March, the company must report its headcount for the immediately preceding year and for January and February of the current year.
  • During the first 10 business days of September the company must report its headcount from March to August of the current year.

These periods will also apply to the filing of reports on the distribution of apprentices hired by companies that have a presence in two or more cities or departments.

If the employer is currently in insolvency proceedings, the headcount modification report may be undertaken at any time.

The Decree also eliminates the possibility for companies with fewer than 15 employees to voluntarily increase the number of apprentices sponsored by the SENA. When the Decree takes effect, this option will only be available to companies with 15 or more direct employees, provided they have not reduced the number of direct employees working in the company in the three months prior to the date at which the request is made and that they will not reduce their headcount during the term of the apprenticeship agreements.

This Decree will be in full force and effect as of 1 December 2018.