After several amendments, today, January 17, 2024, Honorable Pedro Pierluisi signed the House Bill 1745, commonly known as the Law to Facilitate the Implementation of Remote Work in Private Business.
Through the statute, it is recognized that the alternative of remote work represents a unique opportunity to attract more people to Puerto Rico. Likewise, it is understood that remote work expands the opportunities for Puerto Ricans to obtain remote jobs in industries outside the country. Therefore, the Act establishes remote work as a public policy in Puerto Rico, whether temporarily or permanently, in order to encourage employers without local presence or businesses to recruit people who are domiciled in Puerto Rico.
However, this statute does not apply to all employees and/or forms of remote employment. The Act expressly provides that it will apply to employees domiciled in Puerto Rico when the following requirements are met:
When these four (4) requirements are met, the employment relationship will be governed solely by the employment contract and the employee will be excluded from all other labor legislation of Puerto Rico, unless expressly provided otherwise. Likewise, the following rules will govern:
Finally, in cases in which a non-domiciled employee voluntarily decides to relocate to Puerto Rico to work remotely for an employer covered by this Act, the employer will be exempt from complying with all local labor legislation, including benefits, obligations, insurance, and any other provision applicable to such employment relationship in Puerto Rico. This employment relationship will be governed solely by the employment contract or, in the absence of a contractual agreement, according to the law applicable in the jurisdiction where the employee is domiciled.
We have witnessed that remote work has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in this type of employment and the emergence of controversies around the applicable law required guidance from the Government to address these legal gaps. The Department of Labor and Human Resources will develop an orientation campaign to educate and provide guidance to employers and employees covered by this legislation on their duties and responsibilities before the agency. Likewise, the Department will create informational materials to communicate the provisions of this Law.