Ordinance No. 1.809/21, of the Special Bureau of Social Security and Labor, which modifies the list of business activities authorized to operate permanently on Sundays and civil and religious holidays, enters into effect on March 1st. The new rule replaces Ordinance No. 19.809/2020, issued during the period of public calamity, and provides greater security for employers.

The previous rule had brought in as a novelty the inclusion, in the authorized list, of essential activities provided for in Law No. 13,979/20. With the end of the state of public calamity, considered the great motivator of the normative change, on December 31, 2020, the continuity of the authorization for such activities was discussed, causing uncertainty and legal insecurity in sectors of great relevance in the economy, such as civil construction, industry in general, and the capital markets and insurance.

Since the legislation imposes on the business activity authorization to work on Sundays and holidays, the uncertainty exposes employers to the penalties of the inspection agencies.

In addition to changing the wording of some activities and including others, Ordinance No. 1,809/21 deleted the section that included the essential activities provided for in Law No. 13,979/20, thus eliminating the aforementioned insecurity. On the other hand, part of those activities was incorporated into the authorized list on a definitive basis.

We present HERE a detailed table with these changes. Among them, the following included activities stand out:

  • Transmission of electricity, excluding office services but including (a) the furnishing of supplies for the operation and maintenance of generating plants and power transmission and distribution systems and (b) the related engineering works;
  • Construction activities;
  • Call center services; and
  • Capital markets and insurance.

With respect to industries, while the list of essential activities in Law No. 13,979/20 does not detail the sectors included, making it quite comprehensive, Ordinance No. 1,809/21 ended up detailing those authorized to operate on Sundays and civil and religious holidays.

Also noteworthy is the inclusion of the agro-industry and the retail trade in general, previously limited to only a few items and activities. However, despite this provision, insecurity persists with respect to commerce in general, since articles 6 and 6-A of Law 10,101/2000, which establish the need for compliance with municipal legislation and authorization for work on holidays in a collective bargaining agreement, have not been revoked.

The form of remuneration or compensation for work on Sundays and holidays, including any overtime, remains unchanged. Thus, the employer must grant a compensatory rest day, under penalty of double payment, without prejudice to remuneration for weekly rest. In the event that the compensatory rest is not granted, in addition to payment of the aforementioned remuneration, the company will be subject to the penalties of the competent inspection bodies.