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Bolivia
 


Source and scope of regulations - 2017    

References
  • Labour Code, updated to 2011
    (Ley del 24 de mayo de 1939 Ley General del Trabajo - Vigente y Actualizada 2011)
    Date: 2011; view website »
  • Supreme Decree No 28699 of 2006 (Decreto Supremo Núm. 28699)
    Date: 01 May 2006; view website »
  • Code on Labour Procedure, 1979 (Código Procesal del Trabajo aprobado por DL 16896 de 25/07/1979)
    Date: 25 Jul 1979; view website »
  • Decree Law Nº 16187 of February 1979 (Decreto Ley Núm. 16187)
    Date: 16 Feb 1979
  • Resolución Ministerial N º 283/62 del 13 de junio de 1962
    Date: 13 Jun 1962
  • Legislative Decree No. 38 of 7 February 1944 modified and updated by Law No 3352 of February 2006.
    Date: 21 Feb 2006
Scope
Size of enterprises excluded (≤): none
Workers' categories excluded: agricultural workers
Remarks:
  • Art. 1 of the Labour Code

Types of employment contracts - 2017    

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Maximum probationary (trial) period: 3 month(s)

Remarks:
  • Art. 13 of the Labour Code: When an employer or worker is dismissed for a reason other than his/her own will, the employer must compensate him/her for the service, with the amount of one month salary for every year of work. If the time of service does not amount to one year, compensation will be proportional to the number of worked months, excluding the three first months which are considered probationary period. If the employee has worked for more than 8 years, he/she will perceive the compensation even if he/she voluntarily leaves the job.

    Note: Supreme Decree No. 17289, of 1980, exempts certain categories of workers from the probationary period of Article 13 of the Labour Code.

Fixed term contract (FTC):
  • FTC regulated: Yes
    Remarks:
    • Fixed term contracts are regulated with the Law Decree Nº 16187 of 1979
  • Valid reasons for FTC use: objective and material reasons
    Remarks:
    • Art. 2 of Law Decree Nº 16187: FTC are not allowed for permanent tasks or for those that are characteristic of the business.

      See also: Resolución Ministerial 283/62 of 13 June 1962 according to which the contract should, by default, be considered as a contract of undefinite duration, unless the nature of the task, work or service, justifies the conclusion of a FTC.

      See also the principle of "labour stability" established under Article 11 of Supreme Decree No. 28699, of 1st May 2006.
  • Maximum number of successive FTCs: 2
    Remarks:
    • Art. 2 of the Law Decree Nº 16187
  • Maximum cumulative duration of successive FTCs: 12 month(s)
    Remarks:
    • Resolución Ministerial N º 283/62 del 13 de junio de 1962

Substantive requirements for dismissals (justified and prohibited grounds) - 2017    

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Valid grounds (justified dismissal): worker's conduct
Remarks:
  • Art. 16 of the Labour Code sets out the following causes for the termination of employment and in these cases there is no entitlement to severance pay or compensation:
    a) Intentional material damage to working tools/ instruments
    b) Revelation of industrial secrets
    c) Imprudence or omission impacting industrial security or hygiene
    d) Partial or complete breach of agreement
    e) Larceny or robbery committed by the employee


Prohibited grounds: marital status; pregnancy; colour; sex; sexual orientation; religion; political opinion; nationality/national origin; age; trade union membership and activities; disabilities; financial status; language; birth; ethnic origin
Remarks:
  • With the adoption of Supreme Decree No. 28699, of 1st May 2006, any dismissal that is based on grounds that are not included in the list established by Article 16 LC is to be considered against labour stability; and the worker affected can request the Labour Authority to order his/her reinstatement.
    Therefore, only the grounds based on worker’s conduct are not prohibited (Art. 10, Supreme Decree No. 28699).

    Art. 14 of the Bolivian Constitution
    Regarding trade union membership and activities, only the leaders of workers' organizations are protected; they cannot be dismissed without prior authorization from the Labour Court. (Art. 2 of the Legislative Decree No. 37 of 7 February 1944).

    Maternity protection: Article 61 of the Labour Code; Supreme Decree No. 12 of 19 February 2009

    Protection of workers with disabilities (and their family members, under certain conditions): Supreme Decree No 27477, of 6 May 2004


Workers enjoying special protection: workers' representatives; pregnant women and/or women on maternity leave; workers with disabilities
Remarks:
  • Article 14 of the Constitution: General provision against discrimination

    Trade union leaders: Under Art. 14 of the Bolivian Constitution, with respect to trade union membership and activities, only the leaders of workers' organizations are protected; they cannot be dismissed without prior authorization from the Labour Court. (Art. 2 of the Legislative Decree No. 37 of 7 February 1944).

    Maternity protection: Article 61 of the Labour Code; Supreme Decree No. 12 of 19 February 2009

    Protection of workers with disabilities (and their family members, under certain conditions): Supreme Decree No 27477, of 6 May 2004


Procedural requirements for individual dismissals - 2017    

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Notification to the worker to be dismissed: no specific form required

Notice period:
Remarks:
  • Art. 12 of the LC provides for the following notice periods:

    1. Labour contract with workers (”obreros"):
    a.) 1 week of advance notice for contracts longer than one month;
    b.) 15 days of advance notice for contracts longer than six months;
    c.) 30 days of advance notice period for contracts longer than one year.

    2. Labour contracts with employees ("empleados") require a notice period of 90 days if the contract has been consecutively longer than 3 months.

    Note: the difference between “worker” and “employee” can be found in Article 2 of the Labour Code; the difference is based on the nature of the tasks for which they are contracted.

    Pay in lieu of notice: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Art. 12 of the Labour Code

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Procedural requirements for collective dismissals for economic reasons (redundancy, retrenchment) - 2017    

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    Definition of collective dismissal (number of employees concerned):
    Collective dismissal is not defined by law. Article 14 of the Labour Code provides that in case of cease of activities due to bankruptcy or "verified losses" ("peridas comprobadas"), the compensation shall be half of the usual amount, and workers credits shall be given priority.

    Prior consultations with trade unions (workers' representatives): No

    Notification to the public administration: No

    Notification to workers' representatives: No

    Approval by public administration or judicial bodies: No

    Approval by workers' representatives: No

    Priority rules for collective dismissals (social considerations, age, job tenure): No

    Employer's obligation to consider alternatives to dismissal (transfers, retraining...): No

    Priority rules for re-employment: No

    Severance pay and redundancy payment - 2017    

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    Severance pay:
    Remarks:
    • Art. 13 of the Labour Code: When an employer or worker is dismissed for a reason other than his/her own will, the employer must compensate him/her for the service, with the amount of one month salary for every year of work. If the time of service does not amount to one year, compensation will be proportional to the number of worked months, excluding the three first months which are considered probationary period. If the employee has worked for more than 8 years, he/she will perceive the compensation even if he/she voluntarily leaves the job.

      No severance pay if the worker was dismissed with just cause.
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0.5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 1 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 4 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 10 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 20 month(s)
    Redundancy payment:
    Remarks:
    • Article 14 of the Labour Code provides that in case of cease of activities due to bankruptcy or verified losses ("peridas comprobadas"), the compensation shallbe half of the the usual amount, and workers credits shall be given priority.
    • tenure ≥ 9 months: 0.25 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 1 year: 0.5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 2 years: 1 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 4 years: 2 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 5 years: 2.5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 10 years: 5 month(s)
    • tenure ≥ 20 years: 10 month(s)

    Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - 2017    

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    Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: No

    Remarks:
    • See Article 13 LC (above)

    Reinstatement available: Yes

    Remarks:
    • Articles 10 and 11 of Supreme Decree No. 28699 provides for the possibility for employees to choose between reinstatement or compensation in case of unfair dismissal.
      If the employee opts for reinstatement, he/she can request the Labour Authority to issue a reinstatement order, provided that the dismissal is proved to be unjustified.

    Preliminary mandatory conciliation: No

    Remarks:
    • Only for collective labour disputes

    Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

    Remarks:
    • The procedure is governed by the Code on Labour Procedure, 1979, (Código de procedimiento laboral 1979)

    Existing arbitration: No

    Remarks:
    • Only in the case of collective labour disputes.

      Note: In 2015, a new law on arbitration and conciliation was approved (Ley No. 708 of 25 June 2015), which explicitly excludes labour relations from its scope (Art. 5).