Costa Rica Work-from-Home Bill Signed Into Law
San José, September 18th, 2019. President Carlos Alvarado has officially signed the work-from-home bill into law, which allows telecommuting as an alternative work arrangement for employees in the public and private sector.
The new law sets the standards for the work from home policy, strengthening Costa Rica’s competitiveness to develop business and Foreign Direct Investment.
The Congress passed the 21.141 bill on August 27th , to become a new law to implement and regulate the work-from-home policy in all Costa Rica’s companies, including the public and private sector, as well as multinational companies.
Employees can remotely perform all the assignments required by their employer, without commuting, which has shown to increase performance at work.
Working remotely is an efficient strategy for companies to perform their processes and promotes strategies for attracting and retaining talent. Additionally, the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency, CINDE, has verified that working from home is a great way to attract employment outside the Greater Metro Area. In 2018, 850 new jobs were created in these regions, of which 600 were under this modality.
Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director at CINDE said: “Without doubt, this law will strengthen Costa Rica’s investment climate under the modern work schemes that the fourth industrial revolution demands. Working from home supports the sustainable development of Costa Rica, impacting positively the environment and people’s quality of life, which also boost the country’s productivity.”
This new law was requested by multinational companies established in the country, to have a legal framework that provides certainty, flexibility and alignment with new employment schemes, all of which have been promoted by CINDE to improve Costa Rica’s investment climate.
Working Remotely in Numbers
The International Center to Promote Remote Work (CIDTT by its Spanish acronym) estimates that each worker that works from home can save ¢300,000 (about US $ 517) net annually.
The new policy is a voluntary modality agreed between the parties. It may be applied once a collaborator begins to work at a company or if he/she is already part of the organization. The law also outlines the responsibilities and rights of the workers and employers, for example, the insurance for illnesses and accidents in case the employee is working remotely.
The center also concluded that, if this modality is applied to half of the employees whose profile allows them to, the Greater Metro Area would have 24,000 less vehicles per day - also reducing the uncomfortable traffic - which would decrease an approximate amount of 48 million annual liters of fuel, equivalent to more than 28,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
CINDE is a private, non-profit organization that has been committed to the sustainable development and social progress of Costa Rica for 37 years, by attracting direct foreign investment to high added-value manufacturing and service industries that create quality employment, knowledge transfer, and production chains. CINDE also works to strengthen the Costa Rican business climate, helping support growth in value activities for the country, improving training of local talent, generating employment, and helping provide better opportunities for Costa Rica's people in the country's different communities.