Nicaragua: The updating of internal regulations in the company

Written by: Bertha X. Ortega

 

The Labor Code defines labor discipline as the set of regulations governing the conduct and activities performed by the worker in his position or work center for the efficient provision of the service.

 

This set of regulatory standards is included in the internal regulations that must be drawn up by the employer and approved by the Ministry of Labor. For such approval, the departmental inspectorate will send the draft regulation to the workers so that they can say what they see fit. That is why it is important for employers to involve workers and trade union organizations in the preparation process to avoid setbacks. But it is more important that they are involved, not only to meet a requirement but also to consciously assume the labor discipline by the workers.

 

The employment contract and the internal regulations constitute, therefore, two important and key instruments in the implementation of the employment relationship; The specific obligations that the worker will perform for the employer in the workplace are agreed in the employment contract, as well as the rest of the conditions related to working hours, salary, duration of the contract, etc. and in the internal regulations, the rules of conduct applicable to all workers, regardless of the work they perform for the company.

 

These rules governing the conduct of the worker contained in the internal regulations refer in most cases to the following aspects:

  1. To fulfill in a timely manner the obligations derived from the position held.
  2. To the obligations of the parties, not only of the workers.
  3. To maintain a harmonious work environment or climate where respect and consideration prevail among the workers themselves, between them and the representatives of the employer and/or third parties with whom they are linked for reasons of the work performed, free from inappropriate treatment, aggression physical or verbal, labor or sexual harassment and discriminatory acts that attempt against the mental and moral dignity of said persons.
  4. To the general care and protection of the employer’s assets (facilities, machinery, raw material, etc.) and in particular the assets that are directly under his responsibility (equipment, money, securities, information, etc.).
  5. Those aspects that, being regulated in a general way by the Labor Code, need to be expanded for better understanding and application (holidays, promotions, evaluations, breaks, permits, etc.).
  6. To the complaints or claims procedure and to the sanctioning procedure itself.
  7. The sanctions that the employer will apply in case of non-compliance, either with the specific obligations of the job or the general ones, regulated in the internal regulations.

 

Although the essence of the internal regulations is punitive, that is, the employer needs to have the internal regulations approved by the MITRAB in order to apply sanctions to the workers, otherwise the sanction against the worker would be a violation, its greatest virtue should be to consider it the instrument through which balance and harmony are maintained, by containing the rules of coexistence in the workplace that must be respected by all that universe of individuals with different interests, behaviors, reactions, values, attitudes and who converge for reasons of work in a common space and it is assumed that in a common interest, such as preserving the source of employment.

 

Workers, as part of a society that has developed under behavioral rules of a different nature, generally respect those rules contained in the internal regulations and therefore it is important that workers are aware of them at the beginning of the relationship work but that refreshments are also carried out, especially in cases of staff turnover.

 

As important as the updates, is the updating of said regulations, not only because an internal regulation of the Ministry of Labor is not complied with in relation to its updating every five years, but precisely because, being an instrument for the coexistence of many individuals in a space common, it is necessary to update it to eliminate those regulations that have been totally superseded, modify others that have become obsolete over time and/or to incorporate new issues. This update is imperatively motivated by the changes that are taking place in the organization of work, in the new ways of providing the employment relationship and in the new communication technologies.

 

This updating must go through an internal consultation process, especially with the bosses or people who have the workers under their responsibility, since the experience obtained in the day-to-day experience is invaluable as an input for the human resources area or the legal area in your case. In other words, the preparation and updating of internal regulations should not be the exclusive task of human resources departments because it is a more global task.

 

In the same way, the update makes it possible to incorporate into said regulations issues that have gained relevance over time and are vital for this coexistence. These are issues that come into force with new laws, with new international agreements, with new events, such as workplace harassment, from which a legal proceeding can be derived that can culminate in compensation in favor of the worker who has suffered it, compensation other than those already covered by the Labor Code; discrimination, which can also lead to the aforementioned compensation and/or sexual harassment that can lead to crimes sanctioned by the Penal Code, or such as occupational safety and hygiene, which was recently elevated to the category of fundamental rights by the International Organization from work.

 

Updating internal regulations must go hand in hand with training workers on the same, as it is a way of guaranteeing that they know those rules of behavior that they are obliged to respect.

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