Chile: Labor reform proposes social security for digital platform workers

The reform project seeks to fit the labor law in Chile to the needs of new technologies.

In Chile, the government led by Sergio Piñera presented a reform project to change the labor law. According to the Chilean media, this plan focuses on three axes: work, family and inclusion.

Among the proposed changes, the possibility of working four days a week has attracted attention. “A monthly 180-hour day is proposed that may be distributed each week differently; in no less than four days nor more than six. ”

This measure seeks to promote labor flexibility to open more opportunities for young people, athletes, and older adults. In this regard, Piñera said, “these are measures to adapt working hours in a way that can better reconcile the world of family, sports, culture, friends and what people want to do with their free time.”

The proposal also contemplates labor agreements to determine the semester or yearly working conditions. Thus, a group of people may prefer to work more in summer and less in winter or vice versa.

Social insurance for digital workers

Another problem that seeks to address the Chilean labor reform is the situation of workers in digital platforms, especially for delivery-people of companies such as Glovo or Rappi.

The reform project proposes different ways of incorporating social security to these workers who are in constant risk of accidents. Among the options, the “partners” of these applications could be forced to issue a fee receipt, in such a way that they are also obliged to contribute to social security. However, this would not be an option for all workers, which forces to look for other options.

“Technology gives us enormous opportunities, but also tremendous challenges. What we are trying to do is to respond to the challenge that technological progress brings us, and that is threatening numerous jobs. That is why it is important that the Chilean economy can adapt and workers can take advantage of the enormous opportunities that this technological change has, “said Finance Minister Felipe Larraín.

Criticism against labor reform

The labor reform proposed by President Piñera has not been exempt from criticism. The Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT) described it as deceptive and inhumane.

“This is an inhuman project. It puts on our shoulders, of the workers, the earnings of employers again. An employer will earn more money by exploiting workers, “said Barbara Figueroa, president of the CUT, in previous days.

Given these reactions, Piñera said: “Nothing that is contained in this project is done to damage the rights of workers, which is the automatic, immediate and thoughtless reaction to any attempt to modernize our labor legislation,”

The Minister of Labor, Nicolás Monckeberg, recalled that this is not the first time that the government receives this type of criticism from the CUT. “It is usual that in all the subjects and projects that our government has presented, the first criticisms often blind come from the CUT. It is not a good sign that once again gives the CUT. Before knowing the project, before presenting the project, they are already criticizing. “