The publication of Ordinance No. 604/19 of the Special Secretariat of Welfare and Labor, which deals with work on Sundays and holidays, from a practical point of view, brought in important impacts to various sectors, especially trade and tourism.

One of the main changes for employers is permanent authorization for work on Sundays and holidays, with the elimination of the obligation for collective bargaining or administrative requests to the competent authorities for this purpose.

Compared with the ordinance previously in force, the number of categories (from 72 to 78) authorized to work on Sundays and holidays was expanded, including new economic sectors: the vegetable oil and biodiesel extraction industry, the wine and grape derivatives industry, the aerospace industry, commerce in general, tourism establishments, and aerospace maintenance services.

All activities for which work on Sundays and holidays has been authorized are identified in the schedule attached to the ordinance. Except for some specific sectors, office jobs are excepted.

Companies legally authorized to operate on these days, regardless of the economic sector in which they operate, must organize shift schedules, ensuring that workers enjoy time off on certain Sundays, within the legal norms.

When work occurs on Sundays or public holidays, employees shall be entitled to compensatory weekly rest on any other day within the same week, and there is no need to remunerate such work as overtime. However, if the compensatory break is not granted in the same week, that day must be paid double.

As article 6 of Law No. 10,101/2000 has thus far not been repealed, there will be discussions regarding whether or not there is a need for municipal legislation authorizing the activities of commerce in general on Sundays.

All discussion regarding work on Sundays and holidays for categories not covered by Ordinance No. 604/19 may be near the end. The Joint Committee set up to review the bill to convert Provisional Measure (MP) No. 881/19 into law, known as the Economic Freedom MP, on July 11 approved the opinion of Deputy Jeronimo Goergen (Progressive Party) that article 68 of the Consolidated Labor Laws (CLT) should be amended. With the change, all categories are authorized to work on Sundays and holidays, with paid weekly rest guaranteed on Sundays once every four weeks of work, which should end potential debates on the subject.

However, the bill regulating the MP still needs to go through the House and Senate en banc before being submitted for signature by the President of Brazil. Only if the text is approved as it was drafted, will work on Sundays and holidays be guaranteed for all categories.

The current government has shown its intent to stimulate the country's economy through changes in regulations to create opportunities for consumption and, most likely, jobs. It also demonstrates that it is trying to fulfill its promise to reduce red tape regarding labor relations made during the election campaign.

This type of 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 and holidays, which makes it absolutely necessary to disentangle the operation of business establishments, with the removal of numerous rules regarding work on these days.