Since last July 16, the working day in Colombia had an adjustment with which weekly work hours went from 48 to 47.
This decrease responds to the start-up of Law 2101 of 2021which states that the ordinary working day will be gradually reduced year by year until it reaches 42 weekly hours in 2026.
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As a result of this change, several doubts have arisen regarding its implementation and the effects it will have in some areas, including lunchtime.
Regarding this last point, the Administrative Department of the Civil Service has explained that, although there is no regulation that determines the minimum time that must be devoted to this activity and if it is part of the working day, the legislation does establish the right to a break during working hours.
In accordance with article 167 of the Substantive Labor Code “Working hours during each day must be divided into at least two sections, with a rest interval that is rationally adapted to the nature of the work and the needs of the workers. The time of this rest is not computed in the day”.
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This intermission is usually granted by the employer as lunch or dinner time, depending on the specific characteristics of the day and the schedule that is handled in each company.
According to the norm, the duration of these breaks must be established in advance This fact does not affect the maximum working day, which is currently set at 47 hours per week, with some exceptions.
In other words, recess periods are not part of the working dayso that they are not counted within the time that a worker commits to provide services to a company.