On February 8, 2017, through decree number 2-2017, the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala approved the C175 Part-Time Work Convention, adopted by the General Conference of the International Labour Organization. In order to apply the convention, Governmental Decree number 89-2019 was issued, including regulations for the implementation of the convention, and took effect on July 5, 2019.
There is some debate as to whether the convention—and thus the implementing regulations—is constitutional. Article 102 of the Constitution of Guatemala provides that individuals working less than 44 hours shall still be entitled to their full wage. Alternately, it is suggested that Article 101, which notes that work is a human right, and Article 46, which mandates that treaties and conventions have supremacy over local law, provide justification for the new part-time work regulations.
The implementing regulations allow for hourly-rate contracting, which had previously not been permissible in Guatemala. Additionally, employees are permitted to go from full-time to part-time status, as long as the employee consents. Part-time employees typically have a preference for full-time jobs, to the extent they qualify for them, and any change from part-time to full-time status will trigger a probationary period (of two months) during which the employee may return to his or her previous classification.
The Labor and Social Welfare Ministry has clarified that although part-time work will now be permitted and regulated under the convention, workers subject to it will continue to be entitled to certain labor rights, such as 15 business days of paid holiday following 1 year of service.
This regulation is an important and positive step in Guatemala employment law, as it provides more flexibility to both employers and employees, by permitting part-time hiring in certain circumstances. Continued development of regulations in this area will be necessary and will likely come in the next few years.
Written by Mynor García of Carrillo & Asociados and Daniel D. Dauplaise of Ogletree Deakins
© 2019 Carrillo & Asociados and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, P.C.