Hiring by the hour in Colombia: problems it will generate


The study, which was supported by the government of Canada, warns of an imminent threat of precariousness of thousands of jobs due to the recent proposals for the social protection floor and zero-hour contracts.

According to Cuso Internacional, the social protection floor, included in the 2018-2022 Development Plan, could encourage hiring alternatives that prioritize the reduction of labor costs, to the detriment of decent working conditions for the most vulnerable population.

Likewise, it gives as an example the experience of hiring by hours in other countries, and ensures that this would imply a setback in Colombia in labor guarantees such as social security, bonuses and vacations for workers.

With the implementation of this measure, the contribution of employers is also reduced to 15% of earned income. “So that companies do not take advantage of the reduction in their contributions to social security, the Government prohibited employers from modifying the conditions of hiring of their workers,” says that NGO.

The Cuso Internacional report also ensures that the country runs the risk that employers choose to hire those workers who can be hired through the social protection floor, under the full-time and minimum wage modality.

“Additionally, the research estimates that more than 54,000 current workers in cities would face the danger that their employment relationships will be terminated or they will be replaced when their contracts end, because employers would prefer hiring under the new modality that allows them to reduce costs”, report alert.

Hiring by hours in Colombia

The project, which is being processed in Congress, shows incentives for companies to replace current workers with others that they can hire in accordance with the new conditions stipulated by the development plan. For example, in the case of a monthly salary of $ 500,000, the costs would be reduced by 16%, the NGO affirms.

Likewise, the zero-hour contract is a contractual modality that allows workers to work only when the employer requests it. According to the research, In Colombia this type of hiring began to be discussed in the last year, without proposals or documents shared publicly that lead to a dialogue about its effects on labor rights.

Based on the cases of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Honduras, countries that have applied the zero-hour contract modality, the authors of the research conclude that hiring by hours would lead to job insecurity in the country, as these international experiences have resulted in many workers not receiving benefits such as social security payments, bonuses or vacations.

In turn, they suffer from uncertainty about when they will work and the money they will receive, making financial planning difficult for them, says the report.

About the research methodology, Cuso Internacional explains that it includes four sections:

  • The first deals with the description of the recent changes introduced in the matter of social protection that impact hourly hiring and the proposals that have been outlined on this matter in Colombia.
  • The second compiles the findings of studies on the experience of countries that have adopted this type of contracting.
  • The third makes an approximation to the effects that the recent modification in part-time employment contracts would have.
  • The fourth presents some policy recommendations that emerge from the analysis.

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