Registration of Foreign Employees
New Order or Decree
On October 9, 2018, the Ministry of Labor issued Order 4386, implementing an institutional record for all foreign employees hired in Colombia. All employers must register every foreign employee on the RUTEC online platform within 120 days of the date of enactment of this order or date of hire (going forward). Additionally, employers must notify when an employment agreement ends within 30 calendar days of the termination. Failure to register foreign hires or terminations is subject to a fine ranging from $250 USD up to $1.3 million USD.
Increases to Minimum Wage and Transportation Allowance
New Order or Decree
On December 20, 2018, the three parties (government, employers and employees) reached an agreement to increase the minimum legal wage by 6% for 2019 and the transportation allowance by 10% for 2019. Accordingly, as of January 1, 2019, the minimum legal wage in Colombia is $828,116.52 COP and the legal transportation allowance is $97.032 COP, representing a grand total of $925,148.52 COP, which is above the projected inflation for 2018. Additionally, also as of January 1, the integral salary increased to $10,765,514.76 COP.
Proposed Bill Seeks to Expand Maternity Leave and Pregnancy Protection
Proposed Bill or Initiative
On November 6, 2018, Congress approved a bill that, if enacted, would increase the maternity leave to up to 52 weeks whenever the newborn has a medical condition requiring continuous medical observation. The bill also looks to protect a pregnant woman from dismissal during the entire pregnancy and 12 months after the child’s birth, and allow female employees to leave one hour early every day for the first six months of the newborn’s life. This bill may be enacted during the first semester of 2019.
All Companies Must Have the Occupational Safety and Health Management System Completely Running by April 2019
Upcoming Deadline for Legal Compliance
The Ministry of Labor issued a statement reminding all employers to implement the Occupational Safety and Health Management System (SG-SST). This legal requirement must be fully implemented before April 2019. As of April 2019, the Ministry of Labor will start the control and surveillance phase. As a reminder, the implementation of the system in stages is as follows: Initial evaluation (deadline: June-August 2017); improvement plan (deadline: September-December 2017); implementation of the SGSST (deadline: January-December 2018); monitoring and improvement plan (deadline: January-March 2019); and surveillance and control (commences in April 2019).