Official Pronouncement from the Ministry of Labor on the Payment of Electricity to Teleworkers in Costa Rica

On September 28, 2020, the External Advisory Department of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MTSS) issued the official pronouncement DAJ-AER-OFP-285-2020 to answer three queries that Lang & Asociados raised concerning the employer’s obligation on the payment of the value of electricity under article 8 of the Law to Regulate Telework in Costa Rica.

According to such official pronouncement, employers and employees may agree that the latter will undertake the payment of electricity consumption during working hours. This must be documented. Furthermore, it was clarified that there is no formula or procedure to calculate how much it should be payable to the employee for electricity. Therefore, both may agree on a fair amount. Lastly, MTSS stated that such payment is of a salary nature. Therefore, any employer granting it may not modify or discontinue such payment.

It is important to emphasize that the said official pronouncement, which is relevant for telework/work from home in Costa Rica, is not binding for any employer. However, such criteria could have implications or an impact, if there is a complaint before the MTSS, or if the inspection cycle determines that the company modified or discontinued its payment, which could lead to a complaint in the courts of law.