Industrial chamber seeking more flexibility in employee work schedules

Costa Rica needs to get more flexible with work schedules in order to attract more business and create improved employment opportunities, says the nation’s industrial chamber. The organization, the Cámara de Industrias, has proposed a legislative change to the work code to adjust requirements for employee schedules. Proposals include four-day work weeks with three days off.

Juan Ramón Rivera, the chamber’s president, said this is a logical step towards creating quality employment that could also boost production for employers. “The challenge of generating better employment opportunities must be met by real and concrete measures that augment labor demand in formal sectors and attract national investment,” he said.

Before they moved their manufacturing operations to Asia, Intel Corp. executives repeatedly lobbied Costa Rican officials to be more flexible with workers by allowing four-day work weeks.

Rivera said the proposal also accounts for factors away from the workplace like workers’ family demands, health needs, and education opportunities. Worker advantages would come in many forms, and this could allow employees to more free time available for themselves, their children, and their spouses, he said.

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