Latin America debates new laws for platform work

In Brazil, the debate on the regulation of work on platforms is in line with discussions in Latin America, points out this study carried out by FGV-SP.

Discussions about this regulation are similar to those in Brazil, according to a study by FGV Direito SP


Discussions about the regulation of work on digital platforms in Brazil are in tune with debates held in other Latin American countries, points out the third thematic briefing carried out by the Innovation Teaching and Research Center (CEPI) of the São Paulo Law School of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV Direito SP), which research the topic with support from iFood.

In this study, the researchers evaluated what other countries that have not yet approved regulations on the issue —Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico— are debating in legislative texts and government and institutional reports that deal with the subject. To do this, they evaluated 99 bills in Argentina, 33 in Chile, 83 in Colombia and 84 in Mexico.

As in Brazil, the issue became more prominent in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In all countries, the discussion about regulation is concerned with characterizing the work regime, whether self-employed, employed or an intermediate figure. “These limits are not yet defined, since the elements that define alternative links are not yet consolidated in Brazil and other countries”, points out Ana Paula Camelo, project leader at CEPI.

When mapping the debates in Latin America, the researchers discovered that in Argentina and Mexico, discussions about the characterization of the legal relationship between platforms and providers prevailed. In Chile, professionals' right to information (about, for example, prices and criteria for attributing services, how personal data is collected and reasons for disconnecting from the platform) was a prominent topic, while in Colombia social security drew more attention. attention.

“Understanding how the processes are taking place in these countries can inspire debate in Brazil. In Chile, a technical table was created to discuss issues related to work on digital platforms. It would be interesting to understand how it was constructed and what definitions were generated in this process”, comments Ana.

The Chileans' multisectoral technical table, linked to the federal government, proposes the need to think about social security, data protection rules stored on platforms and transparency in relation to service and payment conditions.

Argentina proposes the creation of a national commission to debate new laws involving digital platforms and a labor court dedicated to this — and aims to develop a regulatory framework for work on digital platforms.

Peculiarities of Brazil

Social security is in focus in Colombia, where a relevant point is that the current system, according to the FGV study, is not considered adequate to protect workers on digital platforms, as it was designed in long-term plans based on a salary stable.

Mexico is currently debating the criteria for knowing what is or is not subordinate work and wants to modify the federal labor law to include a chapter on working on platforms.

In Brazil, researchers found some peculiarities. One of them is that the Covid-19 pandemic influenced debates in the National Congress — and led to the promulgation of a law to increase the protection of delivery people. Furthermore, concerns about workers' nutrition and the regulation of automated decisions were also only identified in Brazilian bills.

“We certainly have common challenges, but it is important that our regulation starts from the legal and social characteristics that account for how work on platforms happens in Brazil”, assesses Ana Paula.

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