23 October 2009

Settling Employee Conflicts in SECLO

I sometimes think the employee/employer relationship in Argentina is set-up to deliberately generate conflicts. As an employer, you will find that it is only a matter of time until these labor conflicts rear their ugly head. When they do occur, the best option is to resolve them quickly, removing the employee and ensuring that the employee's legal options are limited.

As any employer in Argentina will tell you, labor conflicts are expensive. I know Argentines who have purchased apartments with the money they have won in labor disputes. Worse yet, every employee knows that the labor court judges are on their side and that employees win well over 90% of labor lawsuits.

After deciding to remove an employee, if you can come to an arrangement with him or her, a good option to use is the Labor Ministry's SECLO (Servicio de Conciliación Laboral Obligatoria) service. You will need to put the agreement in writing, fill out a form to request a date, and go personally with the employee to the Labor Ministry at Callao 110. Both the employee and the employer should be represented by council. In practice, two lawyers from the employer should be used to avoid complications. If you allow the employee to bring his own lawyer, you're just opening a door to further claims.

At the end of this process, the Labor Ministry will endorse the signed agreement and it becomes equivalent to a court judgment. The employer is obligated to pay the amount agreed upon and the employee gives up his or her right to any future legal remedies against the employer. It is important to note that the employer never admits to any kind of guilt or responsibility in these agreements, so they cannot be used as proof for other claims by third parties (i.e. the tax office, social security agency, other employees, etc).


  1. Good advice here, congratulations for your blog work, im Argentinian and still come here to find info about legal matters.

  2. With the peso having lost value since 2001, you can expect prices to be quite affordable compared to most of the developed world. Still, Buenos Aires is a world class city and so many things will be as expensive as anywhere in the world...
    Current reference prices for the products you mention, in Argentine Pesos:
    Milk 1L Whole: ARS 2.90
    Bread, 1 baguette: ARS 3
    Chocolate bar: ARS 2
    Postage stamp: ARS 1.50
    I have a Buenos Aires rent and I can say that it is really affordable compared to other Latinamerican countries. I´m enjoynig it a lot!