Costa Rica: New Bill Proposes Paternity Leave

Proposed Bill or Initiative

In June 2018, the Legislative Chamber introduced a bill to establish paternity leave. Under this proposal, male employees would be entitled to a paid leave of five business days after the birth of their child or adoption of a minor. If the mother of the child dies during childbirth or during the three months of maternity leave, the father would assume the remaining leave that the mother would have enjoyed. The employer and the Social Security Administration (CCSS) would pay for this leave equally.

 

El Salvador: Employers Must Provide Childcare

New Legislation Enacted

On May 31, 2018, the National Congress passed the Law for the Regulation and Installation of Crib Rooms for Employees’ Children. This law requires all employers who employ 100 or more employees to provide a “crib room” at or near the work center. These rooms do not have to be located at the employer’s worksite but must be close enough for employees to drop off their children who are three years of age or younger. The employer must also employ people trained in taking care of minors.

 

Panama: Employees with Chronic Conditions Protected by New Law

New Legislation Enacted

On April 20, 2018, the Panamanian Official Gazette published a law to expand protections for chronically ill employees. Law No. 25, which amends Law no. 59 of 2005, regulates special protections for employees who suffer chronic or degenerative conditions and also protects patients suffering from chronic renal failure. The law prohibits employers from changing an employee’s job status or working conditions as a result of their diagnosis and allows these employees to be fired only for just cause provided it is authorized by the labor court.

 

Panama: Construction Industry Gets New Collective Bargaining Agreement

Important Action by Regulatory Agency

On May 18, 2018, CAPAC (the National Chamber of Construction Companies) and SUNTRACS (a trade union in the construction industry) signed a new collective bargaining agreement that applies to Panama’s entire construction industry. The agreement is effective for three years, expiring on May 18, 2021. One of the most important provisions of this agreement is a gradual increase in salaries. For projects in the private sector, salaries will increase on a yearly basis for a total raise of 14% by 2021, and for projects in the public sector, the raises will total 18% by 2021.