"In order to ensure the prevention of discriminatory behavior and violence against women in their workplaces, "and enforce the gender equality principle".
The main purpose of the Labor Code (the "Code") is to harmonize the relationship between employers and employees, establishing their rights and obligations. Additionally, the Code is based on principles aimed at improving the life conditions of employees. In terms of the above, this year the Code has undergone several amendments, which include, among others, those described below.
One of the recent amendments to the Labor Code was introduced by means of Decree No. 900 of the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of El Salvador, dated January 30, 2018, published in Official Gazette No. 40, Volume 418, on February 27th, 2018, which entered into force on April 9th, 2018. This amendment was intended to align the Code with the provisions of the Special Law for a Violence Free Life for Women, and the Law of Equality, Equity and Eradication of Discrimination against Women (the "Laws"), in order to ensure the prevention of discriminatory behavior and violence against women in their workplaces, and enforce the gender equality principle. Said amendment involved, on one hand, adding Article 1-A, which establishes that the interpretation and application of the Code should be conducted in a comprehensive manner and in harmony with the aforementioned Laws, and other applicable legislation which protects the human rights of women; and, on the other hand, it also involved modifying Article 29 of the Code, which refers to the obligations of the employers, establishing that the employer should keep due consideration to the employees, refraining from ill-treatment by word or deed, sexual harassment, harassment at work and any other type of violence against employees contemplated in the aforementioned Laws, and that employers should also grant employees special leave in certain additional violence related cases against women provided for in the Laws. In these cases, the leave is remunerated during the extension of the impossibility or the performance of necessary proceedings resulting from said acts of violence.
Another amendment to the Labor Code was introduced by means of Decree No. 41 of the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of El Salvador, dated June 28th, 2018, published in the Official Gazette No. 132, Volume 420, on July 17th 2018, which became effective on September 5th, 2018. Per this amendment, Article 113 of the Labor Code was modified providing that as of the beginning of the pregnant state and six months after the post-natal rest, the dismissal shall not produce the termination of the work contract of employed women, except when the cause of dismissal is prior to the pregnancy; but even in this case, the effects of the dismissal shall not take place until the aforementioned period ends, which is called "job stability extended guarantee for pregnant women". Failure by an employer to extend the job stability guarantee is punishable by a fine from three and up to six minimum monthly wages in force in the commerce and service sector.
In addition to the amendments introduced to this date, the Labor Code is subject to future amendments directed towards further simplifying and harmonizing work relationships between employers and employees.