Brazil’s Provisional Measure (PM) 1.108/2022 was published and is already in force, reinforcing certain guidelines concerning new Worker's Food Program (Programa de Alimentação do Trabalhador/PAT) rules, dealt with in Law 6.321, of April 14, 1976.
Two important aspects of the PAT were addressed by MP 1.108/2022; one establishes rules for applying fines, canceling registrations and imposing loss of tax incentives by legal entity beneficiaries or companies registered with the Brazilian Ministry of Labor and Social Security; the other deals with telework or remote work and its characteristics in the workday.
With regard to inadequate execution, deviation or distortion of the purposes of worker food programs, the Provisional Measure provides that:
- The pay offered by employers as meal allowance must be used exclusively (except for contracts in force until their termination or after 14 months and without any possibility of extension) for meals in restaurants and the like, or for food in supermarkets, butcher’s shops and the like.
The contracting employer may not demand or receive:
- any type of discount or imposition of discounts on the contracted pay;
- transfer or payment deadlines that mischaracterize the prepaid nature of the pay to be made available to workers;
- other direct or indirect funds and benefits not directly linked to the promotion of workers' health and food safety, within the scope of contracts signed with companies that issue payment instruments (IP) for meal allowances.
Inadequate execution, deviation or distortion of the purposes of meal allowances, by employers or meal allowance IPs, will result in:
- a R$ 5 thousand to R$ 50 thousand fine, applied in double in case of recidivism or impediment to inspection, without prejudice to other penalties that may be applicable by competent bodies; moreover, establishments that sell products that are not related to workers’ nourishment and companies that accredited them are both subject to the foreseen fine;
- cancellation of employers’ registrations or of the registration of companies linked to PAT programs registered with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security;
- and loss of employers’ tax incentives as a result of registration cancellation.