Rebeca Duran

Rebeca Duran

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Justified and Unjustified Absences in Brazil

Rebeca Duran

Rebeca Duran

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Absences at work are a problematic issue. In Brazil, they are subdivided into two categories: justified absence and unjustified absence. Find out their definitions and implications.

The Labor Law Consolidation

In 1943, one of the major Brazilian Presidents, Getúlio Vargas, approved a new legislation that prescribed new, organized, and regulatory labor laws. The CLT, abbreviation of Labor Law Consolidation, had suffered many changes among the Brazilian history, but, is still in force today.

The CLT regulates all labor activity developed in the country, since the contract agreement until retirement. But, those aren’t the focus, the Labor Law Consolidation also explains what is an absence, whether it’s justified or not, and what are the consequences for those that had practiced it.

Definition of Absence

The definition of absence, according to the CLT, is the vacancy of the worker in its workplace during the period in which he/she supposed to be working. The vacancy can occur during the period referred to; a day, or more, or even hours of unfilled work. For example, if the work journey of a person is referent to six hours, but the person only works four hours, he/she would have accounted 2 hours of absence.

This was the general definition of absence, but it can be more specific if the type of absence was distinguished. Accidents happen, people get sick, people get tired, and many other reasons can be listed as causes of absences. But, since the government cannot specify in a law everything that may lead a person to miss work, absences were divided into two branches:

  • the justified absence
  • and the unjustified absence.

Justified Absences

Justified absences of a worker are the ones that do not cause payment discounts for the referent period. They don’t interfere with holidays, salary payments, weekly paid rest, and payment of the 13th salary.

Are considered justified absences:

  • two (2) consecutive days, in case of death of the spouse, ascendant, descendant, brother, or person who is stated in the worker CTPS as living under his/her economic dependence.
  • three (3) consecutive days, because of marriage.
  • for five (5) days, because of the birth of a child, during the first week.
  • one (1) day for every twelve (12) months of work, if the worker volunteers for blood donation, but, only if he/she can prove it.
  • two (2) days, whether consecutive or not, for the purpose of voter's card application.
  • the period of time taken for the worker to comply the military service requirements and obligations.
  • on days that the worker is performing tests for entering into a college institution, but, only if it was proven.
  • by the days or hours necessary, when the worker has to attend court.
  • by the time necessary, when, as a representative of a labor union, the worker attends an official meeting, of an international organization, of which Brazil is a member.
  • for the compulsory licensing of a worker due to maternity or abortion, subject to the requirements for receiving the maternity salary.
  • stoppage of worker's activities due to the employer's personal reason.
  • during vacations.
  • in cases of sickness, by the period of 15 days, paid by the company, when the sickness is duly proven via a medical certificate.
  • if the worker must attend election services.
  • for paid license.
  • nine (9) days for teachers, because of marriage or bereavement as a result of death of spouse, father, or mother, or son.
  • for delays resulting from traffic accidents, when proven upon presentation of a certification from the car company.
  • break for the employees' representative, when he/she is called to act as conciliator in the Previous Reconciliation Commissions (CPP).
  • in the period of absence of employees representatives due to National Social Security Council (CNPS) activities.
  • for the period of absence of employees' representatives, due to Board of Curators of FGTS.
  • absence justified by the company.
  • absence due to accident at work, for a period of fifteen (15) days paid by the company, duly proved by a medical certificate.
  • necessary absences, for attending the Labour Court (complainant claims, witness, etc.).
  • during the preventive suspension, to respond to administrative survey, or preventative prison when acquitted.
  • absence for national security purposes investigation (within 90 days).
  • other reasons specified in a collective document issued by a union labor, such as agreement, understanding, or bargaining.

Unjustified Absences

Unexcused absences are those not supported by law, collective document of labor unions, or accepted by the employer. The worker that, without any reason, commits an absence at work will lose the remuneration for the referent period which he/she is away, as well as, will lose some of the benefits listed below.

Weekly Remunerated Rest (DSR/RSR)

He/She will not be granted weekly remunerated rest when, without good reason, the employee has not worked throughout the previous week, in full compliance with your work schedule.

Contract Termination by Just Cause

The employment agreement may be terminated for just cause when the employee practices serious misconduct, such as negligence in the performance of work, and the abandonment of duties.

The characterization of the negligence lies in the worker non compliance of he/she obligations correctly and on time. Examples of negligence: delays, frequent absences from service, behaviors that prejudice the company, and demonstrated disinterest and unwillingness of the employee towards the activity.