Starting our series on the Infralegal Labor Regulatory Framework, we will discuss in this article its impacts on the Permanent Program for Consolidation, Simplification and Debureaucratization of Infralegal Labor Standards.

Established by Decree No. 10.854/21, this program was created to review, compile and consolidate infralegal labor standards (such as decrees, ordinances, regulatory standards, etc.). With it, the federal government intends to promote greater alignment of labor standards with government public policies – especially those of fostering job creation and economic recovery – through the issue of normative acts aimed at this end and the revision of existing ones.

The creation of the decree also aims to meet an old desire of those who benefit from labor legislation, whether employees or employers: to decomplicate and debureaucratize the set of rules currently in force, to leave them in agreement with the other rules that have been significantly changed since the Labor Reform of 2017.

Although it is still too early to have definitive conclusions as to its relevance and effectiveness (even by the expressive volume of revised acts), at first glance, the measure promoted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security is very welcome. Considering the wide range of infralegal norms that guide not only judicial and administrative decisions, but mainly business activities, the simplification intended by the Decree is an encouragement for those who have to dive into an endless sea of norms, often contradictory, in search of simple answers to daily labor questions.

The program will compile and organize the infralegal labor standards according to the following topics (without prejudice to others that may be included in due course by the federal government):

  • labor legislation, labor relations and public labor policies;
  • safety and health at work;
  • work inspection;
  • procedures of fines and appeals of labor administrative proceedings;
  • conventions and recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO);
  • regulated professions; and
  • administrative rules.

Both periodic reviews on the themes– precisely so that the program does not lose its main purpose over time – and the edition of new standards are planned, which must meet the precepts of objectivity, clarity and simplicity that the program seeks to institute.

One of the biggest complaints regarding Brazilian labor law is that, even after the profound changes promoted by Law No. 13.467/17 (the Labor Reform), it still has contradictory points – in its infralegal norms and in the interpretation given to it in the administrative and judicial spheres – which end up leading insecurity to its application.

The revision and compilation of these rules, therefore, is seen with good eyes, since it aims to clear the principles that guide labor relations in Brazil through more objective concepts and easier to understand, even to make the rules more accessible and transparent to their recipients (workers, employers, unions and law operators). With the program, they will have at their disposal a platform on which they can participate more directly.

As for government public policies, the program seeks to improve the interaction of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security with its administered, through the integration of labor and social security policies that make the private sector more efficient and competitive, in addition to harmonizing labor and social security infralegal standards. Examples include the creation of the Electronic Labor Inspection Book (eLIT), which will replace the printed book, making communication between companies and work inspection more agile, and time-by-point marking, which tends to facilitate the daily life of the HR and Payroll sectors.

The Decree, however, does not shy away from criticism, mainly because of the vague way it addresses some points: it is undeniable that the Brazilian labor normative scenario is extremely fertile (so much so that the creation of the program is justified), but there is no mention of the scope and how the biennial reviews will be promoted (will a commission be created to do so? If so, how and by whom will it be composed?). Moreover, since there is no mechanism that binds the Ministry of Labor and Social Security to compliance with the standard, there is a risk that the entire revisional character of the program will fall apart if there is no commitment of the agency – which will depend, as the Decree itself stipulates, of the public policies that are on the agenda at the time.

Therefore, even if a continuous review and compilation of the infralegal acts on labour law is necessary, yet to keep it relevant and in accordance with the successive changes in the way of providing the work, the program lacks more incisive guidelines that ensure compliance by the public authorities, at the risk of falling into disuse and becoming another measure with good intentions, but which are not put into practice.

In the coming weeks, we will continue to publish articles with the aim of exploring, in a simple and practical way, the main changes brought by decrees, ordinances and normative instructions, in addition to clarifying the main impacts for companies.

Click here to read the other articles in the series.