2023 proved to be pivotal for labor relations in Brazil due to new legislation and positions that reshaped the judicial landscape. In this article, we propose a retrospective analysis, aiming to highlight the events and trends that shaped the landscape over the past 12 months. Additionally, we will cast a discerning eye towards the future, exploring the expectations and challenges that lie ahead in the coming year.

I – Program “Employ More Women” (Law 14.457/2022)

Law 14.457/22 outlines measures for the maintenance and development of women in the workplace and changes related to CIPAA (Internal Committee for Accident Prevention and Harassment).

Although promulgated in 2022, fines for non-compliance with the legislation took effect in March 2023, requiring companies with over 100 employees to provide a specific whistleblowing channel for receiving reports from their employees and third parties.

Despite the law addressing the need for the implementation of a whistleblowing channel, there is still no specific provision for the protection of good-faith whistleblowers in Brazil.

II – Equal Pay Law (Law 14.611/2023)

In effect since July 4, 2023, the Equal Pay Law aims to promote parity between men and women. Along with establishing transparency report requirements, there were amendments to the CLT (Consolidation of Labor Laws) to include the possibility of moral damages in cases of identified wage disparity (Art. 461, §§ 6 and 7 of the CLT).

As a monitoring measure, the legal provisions stipulate that companies with over 100 employees must disclose salary transparency and remuneration criteria reports to the Ministry of Labor and on their institutional websites.

Companies failing to prepare and submit the semiannual report may face administrative fines, ranging up to 3% of the employer’s payroll, limited to 100 times the minimum wage (around 28 thousand dollars), without prejudice to sanctions for wage discrimination and remuneration criteria between women and men.

Finally, if the report reveals, or government inspection finds instances of wage inequality, the company must implement “Action Plan to Mitigate Wage Inequality,” involving representatives from labor unions.

Although the decree defined the information to be included in the salary transparency report, it was stipulated that an act of the Ministry of Employment and Labor would establish the format and submission method. As of the writing of this article (January 2024), no decree defining the report’s preparation format has been published.

III – Supreme Federal Court (STF) decisions on labor and employment matters

The year 2023 was marked by conflicting decisions between the understanding adopted by the Superior Labor Court (TST) and the Supreme Federal Court (STF). In this scenario of “dissonance,” decisions regarding the employment relationship between service providers (commonly known as “pejotizatização”) and the new possibility of union collection garnered the most attention.

With a significant impact on labor relations, the STF’s ruling on Extraordinary Appeal 1,018,459 (Theme 935) changed a previously adopted stance to allow the deduction of union dues from both unionized and non-unionized employees, provided the right to object is guaranteed.

In terms of legal summaries, the STF overruled Precedent 450 of the TST, which mandated double payment of vacation pay, including the constitutional third, if the employer delayed payment. The STF panel, led by the rapporteur Alexandre de Moraes, argued that the summary violated fundamental principles of legality and the separation of powers.

IV – Trends for 2024

The year 2023 was undoubtedly marked by numerous innovations for companies, indicating that they will be scrutinized based on new legal parameters.

Regarding the program “employ more women”, despite addressing optional benefits offered by companies, it is crucial to note that it mandates the creation and provision of a whistleblowing channel and annual training about violence, harassment, equality, and diversity for employees.

Concerning the equal payment, while the format for reports is not defined, the criteria and information to be included have already been established. At this point, companies must internally gather the data that will likely be required in the report. The specifics depend on guidelines from the Ministry of Labor and Employment, expected to be published in 2024, depending on the government’s agenda.

In the judicial sphere, the main topics awaiting STF decisions in 2024 include:

– Inclusion of companies from the same economic group in labor execution when they did not participate in the knowledge phase;

– Taxation of one-third of vacations;

– Paternity leave[1];

– Nursing minimum wage.

Not only the above-mentioned topics, but other impactful decisions will be made in 2024, requiring companies to stay updated to avoid inspections, fines, and potential labor liabilities.

If you have any questions about this or other topics, the law firm Emerenciano, Baggio & Associados – Lawyers is available for additional clarifications.

This content is purely informative and does not constitute any form of consultancy, recommendation, or technical/legal guidance for specific cases on the topics discussed here.

[1] In 2023, the STF acknowledged Congress’s omission on paternity leave regulation. Thus, the STF mandated that within 18 months, lawmakers must enact specific legislation on the topic. If the deadline is not met, the STF, through procedural analysis, will define the parameters that will be in effect until the enactment of specific legislation.