He labor reform project presented by the Government to Congress, increasingly diminishing the figure of hiring people through temporary service companies (EST). In an interview with EL TIEMPO, Miguel Pérez, president of the Acoset union, that brings together some of the greats such as Adecco, Activos, Manpower or Listos, assures that around 100,000 direct jobs of the 600,000 that they generate will be lost and asks the Minister of Labor not to generalize when talking about precariousness, since they are not the ones that do bad practices. In addition, it warns about the possible prohibition for personnel from the agricultural sector to be hired by them.

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You have repeated on several occasions that there is a stigma attached to temporary service companies. For what is this?

Due to the confusion that exists about outsourcing figures, there is talk of illegality, precariousness and carousel, while talking about temporary service companies, which are formality, employability, contribution to the economy and dignified and decent opportunities for all Colombians.

The stigma is to confuse the outsourcing activities carried out by associated work cooperatives, the union collective agreement and some contractors, illegally supplanting the own and exclusive labor outsourcing of temporary service companies.

No more signaling, no more confusion, we must deal with ending illegality and promoting dignified and decent employment opportunities as temporary service companies do.

Solutions and fewer barriers are needed to be able to advance in labor matters. It is true that Colombia needs a reform, but one that solves the real problems and that the decisions that will have to be made are made, and what better if they are oriented with the recommendations of the ILO and the OECD, which clearly are not to end sectors keys to employment, the economy and companies.

Miguel Pérez García, president of the Colombian Association of Temporary Services Companies (Acoset).

What are the changes that the reform brings about temporary service companies that concern you the most?

There is confusion in the articles and paragraphs related to the activity, repealing the exclusive corporate purpose. In addition, it is prohibited to terminate labor contracts, conditions of workers from different economic sectors and dissimilar working conditions are equalized and costs are increased in the use of the figure. Collective bargaining is also being unified and associated work cooperatives are being favored, leaving other forms of outsourcing at a disadvantage.

With this panorama, temporary service companies are losing their true and exclusive nature of meeting the different seasonal needs and/or eventualities of the different productive sectors of the economy by sending a direct missionary formal worker through the EST. like a real employee.

In addition, with the high costs proposed by the reform project, the hiring of flexible formal employment is discouraged. putting at risk the 600,000 jobs generated by this sector and compromising the productivity of the industries.

Another of the inconsistencies is privileging figures such as the CTAs, which have been one of the promoters of illegality and job insecurity, and in addition to privileging them, it places limits on the sole regulated legal outsourcing for labor outsourcing in Colombia.

How much can temporary service companies do?

Today, labor formalization is attended to in the care of needs, replacements, seasonal and / or eventual of the different economic sectors with the highest rate of informality and precariousness, in promotion of dignified and decent work such as agriculture, export, tourism and commerce, among others. of the sectors.

The Minister of Labor, Gloria Inés Ramírez, says that with the reform the carousel would end. What would she tell him?

First, that it should not be expressed and assimilated to a sector that promotes, encourages and generates formal employment in the country, with precariousness, carousel or horse riding; It is essential that you clear up the confusions and Do not put in the same bag the different forms of outsourcing in Colombia, and that when referring to temporary service companies, they must do so with respect and reality, being these workers with more than 600,000 jobs that today dignify the work of the country’s labor force.

Secondly that should not generalize bad practices of some figures such as those of associated work cooperatives, the union contract or others that mask labor outsourcing, what must be done is to strengthen the surveillance and control system to counteract these inconsistencies in the system, and of course clarify the legal of the illegal, so that the temporary service sector is finally given its rightful place as a fundamental actor for the development of human talent, the formalization of employment and economic contribution that today amounted to a figure of 13 billion pesos. The bill should clarify and not confuse what is legal with what is illegal.

Minister of Labor, Gloria Ramírez, in the filing of the labor reform.


Presidency of the Republic

With the reform they could not enter into contracts for permanent activities. How many contracts do you sign a year today and for what kind of activities?

Temporary service companies may enter into contracts for the provision of collaboration services in the seasonal and/or occasional needs of third parties, that are permanently present in the development of business and service activities, and direct labor contracts with missionary workers to meet these requirements.

Around a year they are signed 1.2 million contracts with greater demand in industry, manufacturing, commerce, transportation, construction, real estate, finance, and agriculture.

In the paper for the first debate it is said that the linking of agricultural workers through temporary service companies and outsourcing would be prohibited. How to take this measure?

Until today it was known that the reform intends to prohibit the personnel of the agricultural sector from being hired by temporary service companies, a situation that generates a very serious affectation and it goes against the purposes of labor formalization of the people who live in the countryside. It is important to emphasize that ESTs generate 8,967 jobs for the agriculture, livestock, hunting, forestry, and fishing sectors.

It is important to emphasize that ESTs generate 8,967 jobs for the agriculture, livestock, hunting, forestry, and fishing sectors.

Additionally, it should be noted that the ESTs are the only companies specialized in provide formal jobs for seasons and harvests, which is essential to be able to formalize the peasant workforce, a population that has one of the highest rates of informality and unemployment in Colombia. Which makes it clear that this provision goes against the reality of the country and the labor market, especially when the Ministry of Labor publicly told Acoset that we were going to be key allies for rural formalization.

With this, the nature of the EST figure is being ignored, which has the purpose of attending, precisely, the seasonalities that occur in the different sectors of the economy and one of the most significant is the agricultural sector, which It constitutes a true employability and labor formalization tool that grants its workers all the guarantees that the law and the labor contract stipulate, so its prohibition could only have a negative impact on the legal relationship of this sector.

From April, when the workers sent by the temporary companies were 518,572, there was an important variation in May when it went to 493,014.

Do you think that there would be cuts in companies, how many jobs could be lost?

The unions and businessmen have already stated that around 450,000 jobs are lost due to the reform and if we take it to our statistics, we can more or less think that in the sector of temporary service companies would lose around 100,000 direct jobs, formal and inclusive through temporary service companies.

Do you think that they provide the same salaries and benefits as the companies that hire their services?

The commercial relationship of the user is assimilated with the employment relationship of the EST with its workers and those of the user company. Demand the same salary and benefit conditions as those of the user for a rotating worker in collaboration services, in many cases for short periods in the full range of sectors such as industry, commerce, services and agriculturea, among others, it would be practically impossible to manage it in the universe of economic activities that the ESTs serve, leading them to a precarious situation that would therefore affect the 600,000 formal jobs generated by temporary service companies in Colombia.

That is to say, that the EST as a particular activity legally defined and different from the rest of the economic activities such as the food, lumber and hydrocarbon industries, among others, have their own, different and autonomous cost structure, which is impossible to assimilate to the rest of the sectors, which in turn have their own conditions. They cannot be assimilated with the same standards, the particularities that define the sectors as unique and independent, it cannot be claimed that they are all the same.

The reform also extends night and Sunday surcharges, how would this measure affect you on time?

In this case, it is important to point out that it is not true that Colombian labor legislation is precarious, since we have one of the systems with the highest labor costs in Latin America. This can be evidenced by the fact that Colombia is one of the countries with the highest nighttime recharge, with the most days of paid rest and the second with the most extended paternity leave.

Thus, the increase in these costs, such as the increase in the surcharge for work on Sundays and holidays and the additional three hours of surcharge at night will generate excessive labor costs, especially for MSMEs, which in many cases do not have financial muscle or margins. of sufficient abundance to support this additional burden, as it also reduces our competitiveness compared to our neighboring countries, and in the specific case for ESTs, costs are increased by an additional 15 percent over the current ones.

It is time to end the stigma, confusion and misunderstanding of labor outsourcing in Colombia, The country must be clear that when talking about temporary service companies, they are talking about formality, employability, productivity, and dignified and decent opportunities for all.

How many companies of this type are there in total in the country?

There are some 580 authorized temporary service companies.

How much are you contributing to the economy in payment of salaries and social security?

In salary payments, social security and parafiscal contributions to the economy about 13 billion pesos. In total, it is estimated that more than 600,000 people with formal jobs and around 2 million families will benefit.

In addition, the sector stands out for decent and inclusive employment. 52 percent of female missionary employment is generated, 23 percent of youth employment and first employment, and 16 percent in labor diversity in which people with disabilities, victims of the armed conflict, Venezuelan migrants, and other populations are found. neglected

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