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Teleworking; reduction, modification and cessation of working time

Summary: According to the declaration of Health Emergency enforced by the spreading of COVID-19 in Ecuador, the Ministry of Labor issued regulatory guidelines in order to adjust teleworking, reduction, modification and cessation of the working time public and private sector.

According to the Ministry of Labor’s provisions through Ministerial Accords MDT-2020-076 and MDT-2020-077 respectively, pursuant to the Health Emergency due to the COVID-19 in Ecuador, the employers are empowered to apply the teleworking as well as to reduce, modify or cease the working hours of its employees, without going against the legal dispositions, for a maximum period of 6 months with a single renewal of 6 months.

Teleworking only modifies the place of activities of the employee, without disrupting the employment relationship conditions. This modality cannot be regarded as a termination of the employment relationship. Public and private sector may adopt Teleworking.

Workers who adopt this modality are required to take care of the equipment that is provided for this purpose as well as the confidentiality of the information that is handled. Employers will establish guidelines for the execution of corresponding activities during the period of health emergency.

Activities that cannot be carried out by teleworking, reduction or modification of the working day, may be suspended indefinitely, without this implying termination of the employment relationship. The employees will have the obligation to recover the working day once the health emergency is over with the same effects in force before their suspension, at the risk of of not receiving the salary corresponding to the suspension period. The recovery may be carried out for up to 3 additional daily hours or to 4 hours on Saturdays.

The employer is obliged to register the reduction, modification and suspension of the working day in the Labor System “SUT”, in order to receive electronic authorization from the Regional Labor Director.

Additionally, the termination of the teleworking modality, reduction, modification and suspension may finish by agreement of the parties, as well as the culmination of the declaration of sanitary emergency.