Brazil: Ordinance Lets Employees Not Use Protective Masks in Certain Situations

By Gabriela Lima Arentes and Ana Carolina Maciel Ribeiro de Almeida © L&E Global April 29, 2022
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Rio de Janeiro

​Brazil's Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the Ministry of Health published a new ordinance allowing employees to not use protective masks at the workplace in certain situations.

On April 1, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security and the Ministry of Health published Ordinance No. 17, updating measures to prevent, control and mitigate risks of transmission of COVID-19 in work environments, which included the permission of employees to not use protective masks in certain specific situations.

According to Ordinance No. 17, companies are released from providing and requiring employees to use protective masks at the company's premises located in states where its use is no longer mandatory in indoor spaces.

With regards to states that did not release the use of protective masks, the company must continue providing them to employees, as well as requiring its use in collective or public spaces, whenever the health alert level in the state is at level 3 or 4, in the prior epidemiological week. To consult the COVID-19 epidemiological situation by state, click here.

Finally, companies should also confirm the need of protective masks with the company's health and safety department, considering that the health and safety department of the company will consider the specificities of the workplace and the activities performed by the employees.

Key action points for human resources and in-house counsel include:

  • Confirm if the use of protective masks in indoor spaces was released by the state where the company's premises is located.
  • Perform an assessment with the company's health and safety department regarding the use of protective masks at the company's premises.

Gabriela Lima Arentes is an attorney with TozziniFreire, a member of L&E Global—an alliance of employers' counsel worldwide, in Sao Paulo. Ana Carolina Maciel Ribeiro de Almeida, also with L&E Global, co-wrote the article. © 2022 L&E Global. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission of Lexology.

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