From mid-March thru the end of September—during the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic—410,000 formal jobs (i.e., contracted jobs) were lost in Ecuador.
This was reported by Ecuador’s Minister of Labor, Andrés Isch, to the Economic Development Commission on September 30, 2020, which was meeting to evaluate the use of the Humanitarian Law that has been in force for one hundred days.
However, Isch stressed that due to the positive changes in the Humanitarian Law, in force since June 22nd, 155,990 new jobs were created.
The Minister said that the Humanitarian Law sought to preserve the sources of work based on the agreements between the parties, and the emergent reduction of the working day. For this reason, he said that there are some 71,919 jobs that were saved by the two-party agreements that are now allowed under the Humanitarian Law. Of these, 67,827 were for a reduction in working hours and 4,102 were preservation agreements.
He added that 25,767 contracts were terminated—due to force majeure or fortuitous event—between March and September, and that the Ministry received 421,336 termination certificates for other reasons.
Isch said that most of the job terminations for force majeure happened in March and April, and since that time there has been no major movement in this area. The Minister of Labor added that complaints about dismissals stabilized in the months of July, August and September, and he believed that this was due to the fact that the Humanitarian Law served to reduce labor unrest.
He also commented that unfortunately, there are number of cases in which the grounds for dismissal due to force majeure or fortuitous event, were misapplied. Because many of these labor disputes are in litigation, the Ministry is waiting for the court rulings on these cases before they can present an accurate number of how many employers abused the force majeure coverage included in all labor contracts in Ecuador.
* The total number of jobs lost is fluid as statistics provided from the Ministry for lost jobs, and jobs created are not for the same time period. Once the Ministry settles the outstanding disputes for terminations that were not covered by force majeure, complete figures will be provided.