Did your employment contract end?

If the term of your employment contract has expired and your employer decides not to renew it, you should read this, it could help you in the event of a simulation.

The employment contract has special characteristics that make its essence unique, since an administrative contract, a civil contract, or a labor contract are not the same.

There is a principle that explains that there cannot be a contract related to an illicit object (against the law), for example, if there were a drug transport contract between two people, this contract would be totally null, since the object of the contract would be illicit (illegal).

In the same way, in labor law, there cannot be an employment contract whose purpose is illegal (against labor law), since if it contradicts the labor law, then the contract would be totally null.

In that order of ideas, a labor contract must absolutely comply with everything that is established in the labor law, a salary lower than the minimum cannot be agreed upon, a working day greater than that established by law cannot be agreed upon, it cannot establish the waives the bonus, bonus 14, or any other employment benefits. In other words, an employment contract can only be agreed above labor standards, and in no case undermine the rights of workers.

However, many employers try to evade labor rights by making contracts that appear to be of another nature, civil for example. The so-called professional service contracts are a clear example, the State of Guatemala is the biggest simulator of labor relations, hiding its true labor nature.

In the so-called contracts 029, 189 and other budget lines, the State of Guatemala, through its nominating entities, makes contracts making it appear that the legal relationship is of a professional nature, and that a salary is not paid, but rather professional or technical fees. However, the essential characteristics of the legal relationship are those of an employment relationship. In other words, there is a working day, a boss who gives instructions, and the hired person is provided with the tools to carry out their work. That is then, a working relationship and not a professional services relationship.

The important thing about this analysis is to understand that the employer applies a FIXED TERM to these simulated contracts, that is, most of the time they contain terms of three months, six months or one year. However, one of the essential characteristics of the employment contract is to be PERMANENT.

At the end of the term, the employer can simply "stop renewing" the contract, which according to these tricks would not be a dismissal, but rather a termination of the contract due to the end of the term.

Given this situation, we have no choice but to determine that this contract is TOTALLY NULL, that's right, it has no validity. It can be signed in blood, and at the same time it has no legal validity. And this thanks to the principle of reality, which is a principle of labor law that establishes that in an employment relationship what really happened matters, and not what a piece of paper called a contract says.

For this reason, if a worker has provided his services uninterruptedly, if he has received a periodic salary (monthly or biweekly for example), if he has received orders from a boss and also has established a working day, then it is a relationship of work, and you will necessarily have to receive employment benefits and be protected by compensation in the event of unjustified dismissal, or as commonly happens, due to the end of the term of your contract.

This information is vital for those workers (mainly from the State of Guatemala) who have signed fixed-term contracts, and believe that by having signed they have lost their labor rights, their benefits, their compensation, and even their job.

In the event of any termination of the employment contract for any of the existing causes, there is a peremptory period of thirty days to claim before the labor courts, even if the term of the contract has expired. Reason why, workers must be duly advised in this precarious situation.

Credits: License Miguel Juarez

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