Changes To The Contract
Employers may not make changes to an existing employment contract unless they have the employee’s consent, and such changes are not contrary to Bolivian Labour Law.
Change In Ownership Of The Business
Changes in the ownership of the business do not affect the validity of the existing work contracts. Employees are not allowed to refuse a change in ownership of the business.
Social Security Contributions
The following Social Security Contributions are mandatory by statute. An employer’s contribution amounts to a total of 13.71% which consists of housing 2%, professional risk 1.71% and short-term insurance 10%., and a contribution called Solidarity of 0.5%. A solidarity fund aimed at helping to improve the lower incomes of other policyholders, which corresponds to 3%.
An employee’s contribution amounts to a total of 12.71% which consists of seniority contribution 10%, common risk 1.71% and Pension Fund commission of 0.5%, and a contribution called Solidarity. An additional solidarity contribution exists when the total amount earned exceeds 13,000 Bs according to the following detail: If the total earned is greater than Bs. 13,000, the contribution is 1%; for earnings above Bs. 25,000, the contribution is 5% and if it is greater than Bs. 35,000, the contribution is 10%.
Accidents At Work
Where there is an accident at work the employee must file a complaint within 24 hours of the accident before the employee’s respective Health Fund.
Discipline And Grievance
In cases where certain grievances are raised, the labour inspector has to be informed. The labour inspector also has the right to enter the workplace without warning. Where a grievance concerning harassment is made, the employer has to provide assistance to the employee and support him against other employees if necessary. Rules concerning discipline are more typical in employment relationships governed by public law, (for example, for magistrates who have tenure).
There are no express provisions in Bolivian Labour law which relates to equal pay.
All companies must have Internal Regulations that treat the following types of racist and/or discriminatory behaviour as misconduct:
- Racially motivated verbal attacks and/or discriminatory action intended to offend a person’s dignity as a human being.
- Denial of access to employment or benefits because of racism and/or discriminatory conduct.
- Physical, psychological and sexual ill-treatment to any employee regardless of hierarchy, for racist and or discriminatory reasons, that cause psychological and / or physical harm, provided it does not constitute itself as a felony.
- Activities which denigrate the moral and good customs of any company employee.
Compulsory Training Obligations
There are no compulsory training obligations under Bolivian Labour Law.
Offsetting earnings against employees’ debts is not allowed under Bolivian Labour Law.
Payments For Maternity And Disability Leave
Disability benefits are provided as part of a long-term insurance by the pension funds that cover disability, old age and death. Disability benefits are paid based on the level of employee’s disability as a result of the sickness. Accordingly, disability benefits are paid as follows: absolute disability, 2 years of salary; permanent disability, 1 year of salary; partial disability, 18 months of salary; temporary disability, salary is paid for duration of disability for a maximum of 6 months.
During maternity leave the employee is entitled to receive necessary medical treatment. Maternity leave consists of 45 days leave prior to the birth of the child and 45 days after the child’s birth. During maternity leave the employee’s salary must be paid.
An employee on Maternity Leave has a right to receive milk products prior to the birth of a child. The value of the milk products must be at least equal to one month’s salary at the minimum wage and must be given to the employee at the start of the fifth month of pregnancy and up to the day of birth.
A post-natal subsidy and a milk subsidy are also provided to the employee on maternity leave after the birth of a child. The post-natal subsidy is given once and must be at least equal to one month’s salary at the minimum wage. The milk subsidy must be provided a monthly basis until the child is one year old.
It is important to note that both the father and the mother cannot be dismissed from their place of work until their child has reached the age of one.
The employer must ensure that the mandatory contributions to the security services to provide for disability, sickness indemnifications and pensions.
Absence For Military Or Public Service Duties
Bolivian Labor Law does not regulate absence for military or public service duties.
Works Councils or Trade Unions
Bolivian labor law recognizes the right of association. Trade Unions are allowed in companies with more than 20 employees.
Employees’ Right To Strike
Employees have the right to strike. Before the declaration of a strike, all conflicts between the employer and the employees must be submitted to a process of conciliation and arbitration.
Employees On Strike
An employer may not fire employees who are on strike.
Employers’ Responsibility For Actions Of Their Employees
According to Article 992 of the Bolivian Civil Code employers are responsible for damages caused by employees in the course of their employment.