The Government enacted the law amending articles 25 and 26 of the labor reform of 2002 (Law 789 of 2002), which in turn changed articles 160 and 161 of the Substantive Labor Code, to establish that the night shift will last nine hours and will go from 9:00 p.m. at 6:00 a.m. (It was defined from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.).

Therefore, the day will start from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Likewise, the new law indicates that the employer and the worker can agree the fulfillment of the 48 hour work week by means of “flexible working time” distributed in maximum six days a week with a mandatory rest day which may coincide with Sunday.

It also adds that the number of hours of daily work can be reported variably in the respective week, having at least four continuous hours of work and a maximum of 10 hours a day, with no place for any extra workload when the number of daily work hours do not exceed the average of 48 hours a week of work in development of the ordinary day (6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.).

It is worth remembering that the original proposal in Congress was that the daily working time was 12 hours, between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Later, and through the Ministry of Labor, the initiative changed and it was proposed that the night shift should be 10 hours, between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., but the final result is the one mentioned above.

At the time, the Ministry of Finance requested to file the initiative, considering that the proposal would represent a huge burden for entrepreneurs and industrialists, which would be reflected in a significant loss of jobs. On the other hand, the Ministry of Labor admitted that although some jobs could be lost, the cost would not be substantial and, therefore, in favor of labor rights, he gave its support to the project. This last position was imposed in the Santos government.

Congress, Law 1846, Jul. 18/17