CHILE: Annual Update – Expected Labour Law Changes in 2017

Trade unions rules

Major reforms regarding unions and collective bargaining procedures Major reforms will affect collective bargaining processes, unions and strike action.
The key aspects are:
(1) Employer anti-union conduct will become a strict liability matter not requiring proof of intention on the part of the employer. Fines for these breaches will be increased.
(2) Some employees currently not entitled to bargain collectively will be able to do so.
(3) No staff replacement is permitted during a strike.
(4) Employers will no longer be able to extend the benefits of the collective agreements unilaterally (the union and, in some cases, the employee’s written consent will be required).
(5) Employees that join the union within a certain period of the collective negotiation will automatically be part of the collective process.
(6) Unions will be entitled to receive employer financial information periodically and the employer is legally required to provide more detailed financial information during the collective negotiation process.
(7) For companies with a given percentage union representation, unions and employees may negotiate Special Conditions Agreements on matters such as workday, rest, among others.
(8) The maximum term of each collective agreement is reduced from four to three years.

Effective date: April 1, 2017

Action required:

(1) Take care to understand the impact of the new rules on your company.

(2) Make any document, policy or process changes that may be necessary for compliance purposes.

Health and Safety

Changes to rules regarding the carrying of manual loads:  The Labor Code will be modified so as to prohibit manually carrying loads over 25 kilos and for those under 18 years and women they must not carry, move, load, pull or push loads over 20 kilos.

Effective date : September, 2017

Action required: Where relevant employers should implement measures to ensure compliance.

Civil union

A new law permits a civil union agreement between people of different or the same sex:  The new law has involved amending some articles of Labor Code, to reflect such civil unions as they affect employers and participant employees.

Already in effect.

Action required: Become familiar with the labour changes and consider any amendments that are needed to your employment documentation and processes.