Executive Decree no. 83 of Wednesday, December 27, 2017 has been issued to regulate the Law on Paternity Leave, No. 27 of May 23, 2017, applicable to employees of the private sector and public servants.
Maria Teresa Mendoza, expert in labor law and partner of Morgan & Morgan summarizes below the most relevant aspects of the new regulation:
License term and how it applies
- Paternity leave has a term of three (3) working days.
- Said three working days will be computed from the birth of the child, being at the discretion of the employee or public servant to choose using them at a later time.
- In those cases where the employee or public servant is on vacation, hospitalized or incapacitated when the child is born, he is obliged to notify the birth to his employer so, upon expiration of the condition stated, the three (3) working days are computed under the concept of paternity leave.
- For computation of this leave, working days are understood as follows:
- From Monday to Friday for the private sector and public entities.
- From Monday to Sunday for public companies or entities working 7 days a week, being understood as non-working day the day of weekly rest of the employee and the compensation day of the employee or public servant for having worked on a Sunday or day of rest.
- Holidays or national days of mourning stated in the Labor Code or decreed by the Executive Organ shall be deemed non-working days and computation of the paternity leave will start on the following working day.
- The employee or public servant will declare in his work contract or personal and dependents form, the name of his wife or partner.
- On returning to work, the employee and public servant shall deliver to his employer or institution where he works, the birth certificate issued by the National Bureau of the Civil Registry of the Electoral Court that certifies him as father of the child.
- When there is a difference between Collective Bargaining Agreements, Internal Labor Rules, collective agreements and paternity leave rights under the Law, the rule or condition most favorable to the employee will apply.
- Days granted as leave shall be construed as time effectively worked for computation of the salary, rights acquired and further labor benefits.
- Paternity leaves are granted only once a year.
- The paternity leave is one single period of three days even in case of multiple birth.
This Law modifies the fines that the Ministry of Labor may impose to employers that hire foreign personnel without having a valid work permit, and the employment of minors, without complying with the requirements established in the law.
The fines that the Ministry of Labor may apply when foreign personnel is detected without a Work Permit, will be the following:
- The first time, a US$500.00 fine will be imposed, for each foreign employee without a work permit.
- The second time, a US$1000 fine will be imposed, for each foreign employee without a work permit.
- The third time, a US$10,000 fine will be imposed, regardless of the number of foreign employees without work permit In this case, the Ministry of Labor will also request the Ministry of Commerce and Industries the temporary suspension the Commercial License (Aviso de Operaciones) of the companies or commercial establishments.
- The fourth time, the Ministry of Labor is authorized to request the Ministry of Commerce and Industries for definite cancellation of the Commercial License (Aviso de Operaciones) of the companies or commercial establishments. This action applies notwithstanding the immediate dismissal of all non-authorized foreign personnel, and the obligation of the employer to consign the corresponding payment of the imposed fine, at the Conciliation Cashier in the offices of the Ministry of Labor or delivering it directly to the employee.
- In the case of companies that have 10 or more foreign employees without Work Permit, the amount of the fines will be doubled. The names of these companies will be published in the website of the Ministry of Labor.
- Article 20-A is added to the Labor Code, which establishes the procedure to be followed by the Ministry of Labor for the sanctions.
In addition, Law 59 also modifies article 125 of the Labor Code which establishes the fines for hiring minors in contravention to the law, and sets the fine on US$700.00 for each minor working without the corresponding requirements.
This law will be in effect from its promulgation, on September 14th, 2017
On July 26, 2017, a forum was held in Panama called, “Labor immigration flexibility or restriction, what do we need?” organized by the Panamanian Association of Business Executives. Said forum served as a platform to discuss issues of national interest on legal and practical aspects of work and residence permits for aliens, legalizations and mechanisms in place for immigration control, labor immigration and their effect on human resources management, among others.
Morgan & Morgan was one of the principal sponsors of the event, with outstanding presentations from experts in the labor and immigration fields such as Maria Teresa Mendoza, partner in charge of the Labor Law Department of Morgan & Morgan.
Mr. Jose Carrizo, partner in charge of the Litigation Department, participated as well in his capacity as Chairman of the Juridical Matters Commission of the Association.
On June 21, 2017, the conference on “Risks in hiring job candidates” was held in Panama City, organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Mexico-Panama (Camexpa).
María Teresa Mendoza, partner in the Labor Law Department of Morgan & Morgan, took part as speaker with the theme “Legal aspects in the process of selecting candidates for a job”.
The event brought together a large number of professionals from different fields who are actively involved in the selection and recruitment of human resources in Panama.
Mediante la Ley No. 27 de martes 23 de mayo de 2017 se crea la licencia de paternidad para trabajadores de empresas privadas y servidores públicos.
- La Licencia de paternidad aplica para trabajadores, cuya esposa o conviviente en condiciones de singularidad y estabilidad, se encuentre en estado de gravidez.
- Para acogerse a la licencia de paternidad, el trabajador debe comunicar a su empleador, con una semana de anticipación, la fecha probable del parto.
- La licencia de paternidad será por un término de tres (3) días hábiles, que serán computados como tiempo efectivo de servicio, periodo en el cual el beneficiario no podrá laborar para otro empleador o por cuenta propia.
- El inicio de la licencia se computara desde la fecha de nacimiento del hijo o hija.
- El trabajador queda obligado a presentarle a su empleador el certificado de nacimiento que lo acredita como padre del menor.
- Está Ley está vigente desde el 25 de Mayo de 2017 (día siguiente a su promulgación).