The publication of Executive Order No. 905/2019 brought about various important impacts for employers from a practical point of view. One of the main changes is permanent authorization for work on Sundays and holidays for all categories of workers, ending the obligation for collective bargaining or administrative requests to the competent authorities for this purpose.

In addition, all employers are allowed to work on Sundays and public holidays, subject to local laws and regulations for the commerce sector, with no interference by the federal government regarding the categories of employees authorized, contrary to what previously the case. However, the rules established in collective bargaining agreements on the subject must be observed.

Before the publication of the MP, Ordinance No. 604/19 of the Special Bureau of Social Security and Labor was in force, which regulated work on Sundays and holidays only for 78 categories of employees, leaving out various sectors that lacked labor regulations for these days.

Although the obligation to provide weekly days off is maintained, it is no longer required to do so, as a rule, on Sundays. While article 68 of the CLT now expressly authorizes work on Sundays and holidays, article 67 assured only the right to paid weekly rest for 24 consecutive hours, preferably granted on Sundays.

This is a major paradigm shift, as prior to the promulgation of the MP, the CLT stated that “except for reasons of public convenience or overriding need for service”, paid weekly rest should be given predominantly on Sundays, except for sectors that were already authorized by Ordinance No. 604/19 to work on Sundays.

The MP also added a paragraph to the new article 68 of the CLT, stipulating that the weekly paid break schedule on Sundays must be (i) one Sunday every for four weeks of work for the retail and services sector and; (ii) one Sunday every seven work weeks for industry. Specifically for commerce, the MP provided that local laws and regulations must be observed, which in fact already occurred.

The provision for alternation in enjoyment of weekly paid rest on Sundays is new in the CLT. Previously, the provision for alternation existed only in Law No. 10,101/2000, which provided, for commercial activities in general, mandatory time off on Sundays for every three weeks of work, and in Ordinance No. 417/66 of the then Ministry of Labor, which provided for mandatory time off on Sunday every seven weeks of work.

Per the new rules, when work occurs on Sundays or public holidays, employees must enjoy to compensatory weekly rest on any other day within the same week, and there is no need to remunerate this work as overtime. However, if the compensatory time off is not granted in the same week, that day must be paid double.

The regulation brings about security in labor relations and creates more opportunities for production and consumption. There is a clear need for various sectors to operate on Sundays, which makes it absolutely fundamental to disentangle this issue for business establishments, with the removal of different rules regarding work on these days.