Temporary workers must have protection against labor accidents.

Recent award by the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court ratifies this obligation.

Recently, the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court issued award number 2012-00560, by means of which it has been ratified that employers have the obligation to provide protection against labor accidents to all workers, independently of the type of labor relation that may be in place between the parties.

According to this award, all workers, even if they are only temporarily hired for a few hours, must be covered by the corresponding insurance policy protecting them for any labor accidents.

The said award established that:

“…it must be remembered that insurance coverage for labor accidents is a protection obligation of all employers for the benefit of their workers, even in the case of occasional or temporary works, whether for a few days or for a few hours. This is so, independently of the type of labor contract that may be in place, for an undetermined term, for a fixed term or for a fixed work, in looking for the protection against all accidents originating or caused by the performance of a work for third person, for the purposes of guaranteeing to the workers, at the time of any such accidents happening, the necessary indemnifications to cover the loss generated in their working capacity. It is in this sense that article 201 of the Labor Code is intended when it declares that insurance for labor accidents in all types of labor activity is obligatory, universal and mandatory, with the corresponding liabilities for the employer not fulfilling this obligation…”

In the same manner, what is indicated by this award implies that in all cases where there is a labor relation, even if the works performed by the employee are for just a few hours, the obligations established in Labor Laws must be fulfilled, and that consequently the worker has the right to all the labor benefits for that labor relation.

Therefore, if a person hires a worker, even if for just a few hours, or just in an occasional manner, it must provide the corresponding labor accidents insurance policy to protect the worker and must register the worker with the Costa Rican Social Security Office. Likewise, this worker will have the right to its corresponding proportional paid vacations and Christmas Bonus (“aguinaldo”).

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