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January 15, 2021

By Mario Pasco and Mariana González-Prada

Back to International Employment Law




Elevated risk of anti-employer regulation

Currently, the Peruvian political scene is chaotic. The Congress is heavily inclined to demagogy and the left leaning Executive does not seem strong enough to oppose populist initiatives. Promotional (with lesser benefits) labour regimes are under siege, and may succumb to the relentless attack that they have been enduring for several years.


Rise of illegal ("informal") labour relationships

In Perú, 65% of all labour contracts exist outside the law, with no benefits of social coverage for the employees. We fear that such a number will only rise, as unemployment has increased due to the COVID‑19 crisis, and because the State continues to punish law abiding employers (as our clients) with excessive regulation.




New legislation relating to workplace sexual harassment

The Peruvian Government has recently passed a comprehensive reform of the current anti-harassment framework in order to provide further protection to victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. Amongst other things, the definition of sexual harassment has been broadened to include sexist behaviours and comments, and the structure of investigations into possible sexual harassment cases has changed by introducing strict deadlines and formal obligations that must be complied with.


Equal Pay

In order to eliminate wage discrimination between men and women, employers in Peru must rank their job positions by implementing an objective valorisation system to assign salaries based on an 'equal pay for job of equal value' basis. However, the law does not address how any pay disparities identified using this method should be dealt with.


Measures to strengthen employees' health and safety at work

As a result of a series of fatal work accidents in well-known companies, a number of legal measures have been introduced to increase health and safety for employees in the workplace. For example, the Criminal Code has been amended to assign criminal liability to managers who neglect their health and safety obligations, the labour inspection authority can close workplaces as a penalty for non-compliance, and it is now mandatory for employers to provide life insurance coverage to their workers from the start of the employment relationship.




Reforms to paid leave

The Legislative Decree No.173 came into force on 13 September 2018 and has made several changes to paid leave.

The changes include:

  • allowing leave to be taken in advance by borrowing from the following year’s entitlement, provided that there is a written agreement in place between the employer and employee;
  • splitting the 30 day holiday entitlement at the written request of the employee. The first period of 15 days can be taken as one continuous period or in periods of seven or eight uninterrupted days. The second 15 days can be taken in periods of less than seven calendar days provided a minimum of one day is taken; and
  • reducing the employee’s holiday entitlement from 30 day to 15 days by making a payment in lieu of 15 days holiday as compensation.


Key developments in paternity leave

Law 29409 will come into force on 6 July 2019 and provide father’s with a right to take 10 consecutive days paid paternity leave after the birth of the child. In cases of premature or multiple births, the employee will be entitled to 20 consecutive days paid leave and in cases of births with congenital disease, severe disability or serious complications for the mother the employee will be entitled to 30 consecutive days paid leave.

Leave will start either from the date of the birth of the child, the date of discharge from the hospital or three days before the due date. If the mother dies during childbirth the father will be entitled to take the mother’s maternity leave.

An employee is also entitled to request that his paternity leave is extended by using his holiday leave provided this request is made no less than 15 calendar days before the due date.

With thanks to Mario Pasco and Mariana González-Prada of Rodrigo, Elisa & Medrano Abogados for his invaluable collaboration on this update.


Image: Suzanne Horne
Suzanne Horne
Partner, Employment Law Department

Image: Kirsty Devine
Kirsty Devine
Associate, Employment Law Department

Image: Aashna Parekh
Aashna Parekh
Associate, Employment Law Department

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