Amendments to the Substantive Labor Code

August 20, 2021

On August 10, 2021, Law No. 2141 of 2021 was published in the Official Gazette of Colombia, whereby amendments were made to the Substantive Labor Code, as follows:

1. Amendent to the dismissal prohibition law

Article 239, paragraphs 2 and 3, of the Substantive Labour Code, on the prohibition of dismissal, are amended, providing that no female worker may be dismissed on the grounds of pregnancy or breastfeeding without the prior authorization of the Ministry of Labour that supports a just cause. If they are dismissed, an additional payment of compensation equal to 60 days of work shall be granted to them, in addition to the compensation and benefits corresponding to their employment contract.

2. Prepartum compulsory leave

In the case of a working woman, who for some exceptional reason does not take the obligatory week of maternity leave and/or some of the 17 weeks of leave, payment shall be granted due to the weeks of leave she did not take. In the event of multiple births, she shall be entitled to the payment of 2 additional weeks and, in the event of premature birth, the payment of the difference in time between the date of birth and the term birth.

3. Prohibition of employment dismissal

The dismissal of any worker whose spouse, partner, or permanent partner is pregnant or within 18 weeks of childbirth and is not formally employed is prohibited.

4. Authorization by the labour inspector

It also amends paragraph 1 of article 240 of the Substantive Labour Code, providing that the employer needs the authorization of the Labour Inspector or the Municipal Mayor in places where there is no such official to dismiss a worker during the period of pregnancy or 18 weeks after childbirth.

5. Effectiveness date

The Law is effective as of August 10, 2021 and repeals the provisions that are contrary to it.

Source: Diario Oficial 20/08/21