Working hours on Sundays and public holidays have been the subject of debate and updates over the last few years. In 2021, with the Infralegal Labor Regulatory Framework (Decree 10,854/21), a bill was launched to update infralegal labor rules, including authorization to work on Sundays and public holidays.

In the context of the Infralegal Labor Regulatory Framework, on November 11, 2021, MTP Ordinance 671 was published, which granted permanent authorization to work on Sundays and public holidays for various activities. In addition, the ordinance removed the need for authorization to work on public holidays in commerce to be done through a collective bargaining agreement.

However, Ordinance 3,665/23, issued by the Ministry of Labor and Employment and published on November 14, revoked the permanent authorization to work on public holidays for various sectors of commerce. They are:

  • fish retailers;
  • retailers of fresh meat and game;
  • fruit and vegetable retailers;
  • poultry and egg retailers;
  • retailers of pharmaceutical products (pharmacies, including handling of prescriptions);
  • trade in regional products at hydro-mineral resorts;
  • trade at ports, airports, roads, and bus and train stations;
  • commerce at hotels;
  • commerce in general;
  • wholesalers and distributors of industrialized products;
  • dealers in tractors, trucks, cars, and similar vehicles;
  • retail trade in general; and
  • markets, retail supermarkets, and hypermarkets, whose main activity is the sale of food, including the transportation inherent to them.

With the revocation of the authorization, these sectors of commerce must once again negotiate with the professional unions so that their employees can work on public holidays.

Work on Sundays, on the other hand, remains authorized for commerce in general, under the terms of article 6 of Law 10,101/00. There has been no change in this respect.

The sectors of commerce listed above, therefore, in addition to complying with the specific legislation in force, must exercise greater caution in collective bargaining to ensure that they can also operate on public holidays.

If there is no express authorization through a collective bargaining agreement negotiated with the professional union, working on public holidays in these sectors of commerce exposes companies to penalties in the event of an inspection, including payment of an administrative fine.