Vote on telework legislation delayed until March

Friday, January 28, 2011

A vote on proposed telework legislation in Chile has been postponed until the second week of March, according to a press release from the chamber of deputies.

Labor committee members from the chamber and labor minister Evelyn Matthei agreed to postpone voting on the bill, which aims to boost telework and telecommuting through the designation of special work contracts. According to Matthei, delaying the bill will allow the committee to bridge the gap between ruling and opposition parties on the matter.

Throughout February, during the weeks of legislative recess, the minister and legislators Nicolás Monckeberg, of ruling government party Renovación Nacional (RN), and René Saffirio, of opposition Christian Democrat (DC) party, will hold meetings with officials and representatives from each sector to hear their opinions on the bill. Matthei said this will give them a better idea of what is needed to pass the bill in March.

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Saffirio said the telecommuting initiative has been a much more complex issue than they had anticipated, highlighting that it has been under discussion for four months. The deputy attributed the difficulty to the lack of clarity former labor minister Camila Merino gave to the legislation in relation to its impact, effects and applicability.

According to Saffirio, those opposed to the bill want to differentiate telecommuting contracts from other types of contracts that already exist. They also want to see control of working hours, among other things.