Labor Law must live in constant evolution due to the trends set by the labor market. In recent times we can say that Labor Law has been one of the branches of law that has had to adapt the most to the changes that the population has faced due to the constant globalization in which we live. In view of the global pandemic due to covid-19, labor law had to be adapted and modified to allow employers and employees to use the teleworking modality to minimize terminations and optimize work performance in a dynamic different from that established by contract. To a substantial extent, and despite the fact that the WHO decreed the end of it, the global covid-19 pandemic has modified the conditions of the current labor market, this because it ignited an important conversation about the balance between work life and personal life. of the employee. A key factor in the balance of work life and personal life of the employee is the emotional salary.
In Mental Health Awareness Month, I thought it was important to do an analysis on one of the factors that can most influence this balance between the employee's work and personal life. And it is that the intangible factors that the new generations take into account when accepting a job are increasingly important. For the new generations, it is increasingly important to have a state of total well-being in their workplace, which, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), refers to well-being in physical, emotional and social aspects.
When we talk about emotional and social factors, we are talking directly about mental health, and it is important to take into account the data from the World Health Organization (WHO), which estimates that around 35% of Hondurans suffer or have suffered one or more mental or behavioral disorders throughout life, this undoubtedly results in an affectation in the emotional and social well-being of a person. To this it is important to add the scant care provided by public hospitals for people with mental health problems. In Honduras, 1.75% of the government budget is earmarked for mental health services. Of all the expenditure invested in mental health, 88% is directed to psychiatric hospitals, and 12% to non-hospital mental health services. The fact that only 12% of the budget is earmarked for non-hospital mental health services in the public health system restricts the access that people may have to mechanisms that help balance their mental health. This is precisely where the Emotional Salary enters the scene. As I mentioned previously, the Emotional Salary is a tool to be able to balance the health and well-being of the employee with their work life.
The concept of emotional salary is quite simple. The emotional salary is all types of non-monetary compensation that the employee receives in exchange for the provision of a service. Although the concept is simple, it covers many compensations that can be granted in exchange for the service provided. At present, the main benefits in which the emotional salary is reflected are labor flexibility, social benefits and training services.
Labor flexibility is a work model or regulation that consists of an agreement between the company and the employee to set up a link that adapts to the needs and goals of both parties. This is achieved through the agreements reached by both parties in the individual employment contract. Labor flexibility was put to the test in a hurry due to the Covid-19 pandemic, since a large majority of companies were forced to use the stay-at-home modality.
Well, this mandatory test resulted in a large number of employees understanding that not only stay-at-home modality was possible, but also part-time and flexible hours came into the mix, while always meeting the productivity standards expected by the employer. The ILO emphasizes that "a decent work schedule is one that favors agreements that benefit families, promote gender equality, favor business competitiveness and facilitate the influence of workers in determining their hours" and this is precisely what that it seeks to achieve through labor flexibility benefits.
Social benefits such as insurance, retirement plans are the type of benefits that we find more in the labor reality of the country. It is a widespread practice in companies to offer social benefits such as insurance or retirement plans since these benefits, being tangible, are usually a little more popular than those that are intangible.
For companies, training services are generally well seen because companies consider that there is a benefit for them too, and they are not wrong. Employee training through courses of interest to the worker, study aids, courses that improve the work environment (stress management, conflict management, time management, etc.) although it is a direct benefit for the employee, It also causes a benefit for the employer, since it will have a more qualified employee in the position. The benefits of the emotional salary are, therefore, a benefit of both ways, something that benefits both the employer and the employee, since it has been proven by many studies that a motivated employee will perform better at work. This is why as workers can better reconcile their work life with their personal life, guaranteeing a better emotional salary that will undoubtedly improve their motivation, concentration and performance and, therefore, will facilitate productivity and profitability.
Great Resignation job market that peaks in mid-2021, it's important for employers to be able to offer their employees benefits that extend beyond pay. The great resignation refers to a situation that is still latent today, and it is important to understand the reasons behind this phenomenon. Among the most cited reasons people for quitting or not taking a job are stagnant wages amid the rising cost of living, limited opportunities for career advancement, hostile work environments, lack of benefits, inflexible remote work policies and enduring job dissatisfaction.
It is for this variety of reasons that the emotional salary has become more and more characteristic in socially responsible companies, since all the factors that influence the employment relationship must be taken into account so that it is as harmonious as possible.
The problem that is found in the emotional salary is how to implement it when Honduran legislation does not contemplate it, much less regulates it, however, this does not mean that it cannot be applied. The Labor Code establishes that the salary is formed by what the worker receives in money or in kind. That is, the emotional salary could not replace or complement the employee's usual salary, since these benefits cannot form salary. However, this does not mean that there are no mechanisms through which employers can assert emotional wages. Companies can offer these benefits to their employees and include them in the employment contract, in a labor policy or in the company's internal work regulations, in order to thus ensure the employee an effective application through the clear mechanisms agreed upon appropriate and the employer to set up the expected objectives. In short, the emotional salary and the benefits that it brings for employees are a practice that, as time goes by, are increasingly popular. This is why it is important to know how to identify how to apply these benefits to employees and how to regulate it through ideal internal procedures.