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Creation of the New Paternity Privileges in Colombia

The President of Colombia sanctioned Law 2141 of 2021 in which key aspects of new paternity privileges are regulated, modifying Articles 239 and 240 of the Substantive Labor Code. The novelty of this law consists in the creation of a “paternity jurisdiction” which prohibits employers from dismissing a worker whose spouse, partner, or common-law spouse: (i) is pregnant or is within eighteen (18) weeks after childbirth, and (ii) does not have a formal job.

The worker who is protected by the paternity privileges may only be dismissed when there is just cause and the decision is authorized by the Labor Inspector or the Municipal Mayor, in places where there is no Labor Inspector. If the dismissal is carried out without the required authorization, the employer is exposed to the possible reinstatement of the worker by court order and to monetary penalties, including a reparation to the worker equivalent to wages for sixty (60) days of work.

However, paternity privileges do not arise automatically. For this protection to be generated, it is necessary for the worker to give notice to the employer that his spouse, partner, or common-law spouse is in a state of pregnancy and to declare under oath that she does not have a formal job. This notice may be given orally or in writing and must be accompanied by proof of pregnancy.

At BéndiksenLaw we are aware of legislative changes relevant to your company. If you have any questions about the application of paternity law do not hesitate to contact us.