Employers Associations and Trade Unions in Brazil

1. Brief Description of Employees’ and Employers’ Organizations

All employers and employees are mandatorily represented by the respective Union. The Unions that will represent the employer and its employees are linked to the activities performed by the company in each city or state.

2. Rights and Importance of Trade Unions

Unions can negotiate on behalf of the employers and employees and execute collective bargaining agreements. Collective bargaining agreements are instruments executed between the unions representing employers and employees, or between the employees’ union and a specific employer for purposes of establishing general and normative rules that govern the relationship of a given category of employers and employees. The terms and conditions negotiated by the Unions are mandatory and cover the employers and employees of the category.

An employer may also negotiate directly with the employees´ Union a specific collective bargaining agreement applicable to its employees. There are some matters that can only be implemented by means of a collective bargaining agreement such as an offsetting of working hour’s system and profit/result sharing program.

3. Types of Representation

The Federal Constitution establishes that companies with more than 200 employees should elect an employees’ representative in order to improve communications between employer and employees. In practical terms, this provision is not regulated by specific law and has not been implemented.

4. Employees’ Representation in Management

Law 12.353/10 defines that public entities with more than 200 employees must elect an employees’ representative to occupy position and represent them on the Board of Directors. Such representative must be elected among the other employees in an election with the participation of a member of the representative Union. There is no similar obligation for private companies.

5. Other Types of Employee Representative Bodies

Depending on the number of employees and the risk degree of the employer’s facility activity, the employer must have an Internal Commission for Accident Avoidance (“CIPA”), composed of employee and employer representatives. Individuals elected as employee representative members of CIPA (either as full or alternate members) may not be removed from their positions from the date of their registration as candidates for such position up to 1 (one) year after the expiration of their one-year term-in-office.

Also, depending on the number of employees and the risk degree of the employer’s facility activity, the employer must implement a team of health and safety professionals hired by the employer (Specialized Safety Engineering and Occupational Medicine (“SESMT”)).

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Brazil, please contact TozziniFreire Advogados
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