Guerrero & Asociados firm will reach four new cities and will have new area

The area of International Labor Law will be opened and important investments will be made in technology and research issues.

The firm Guerrero & Asociados, protagonist of several labor lawsuits in the country of large companies such as Avianca, is innovating and creating new areas in International Labor Law.

In addition, they will open new offices in four cities around the country in 2019: Medellín, Barranquilla, Cali and Bucaramanga.

Juan Manuel Guerrero, founding partner of the firm spoke with AS and pointed out the labor challenges of Colombia with the entrance of the new government of Iván Duque, as president-elect and, on the other hand, the legal and economic risk of the companies for the labor outsourcing disguised through contracts for the provision of services.

What are the firm’s strongest and most experienced practice areas?

Guerrero & Asociados provides advisory services and judicial representation in all individual, collective and social security labor issues.

We have worked hard to form a team of professionals who provide the necessary support to clients in the aforementioned issues. In addition, it is noteworthy that the firm has advised companies and entities in some of the most complex and important collective labor disputes that have arisen in the country in recent years.

What is your balance of the management of the firm in this first semester of the year that is already ending?

In the litigation area we have excellent results, within the judicial processes and guardianship actions that involve our clients.

In general, I feel that there are significant strengths in all areas of the firm, that allow adequate customer support in all labor issues to be addressed.

What new projects will the firm develop during the remainder of the year?

In the remainder of 2018, it is planned to hold academic events in Bogotá and Medellin, where the scenarios and challenges that companies will have to face will be explained with the new labor context existing in the country, which will necessarily be impacted by the income from Colombia to the Ocde and the standards that for this fact will be required in public labor policies, the articulation of the implementation of the peace agreement with the labor reality of the country, the changes and approaches that public employment policies can have in the new national development plan and the administration of a concept that generates different interpretations such as “social protest”.

Do you plan to expand the firm with new offices in other cities in the country?

By 2019, the feasibility assessment and the programming of the first activities of opening of the firm’s offices will be carried out in cities such as Medellín, Barranquilla, Cali and Bucaramanga; the former within the gradual project of expansion of the firm, which must be executed in full by 2020.

The complexity of the labor issues to be faced by companies in the country is increasingly large and therefore the accompaniment of a strategic labor advice that shields companies legally and understands the needs of each client from the objectives and perspectives of the business.

What are the perspectives of income of the firm at the end of 2018?

The closing projection for 2018 reports a growth in turnover of approximately 30% compared to 2017.

What are the most common queries that companies have on labor issues that generate serious fines and risks for companies?

In relation to the most important labor issues that currently arise in Colombian entities are the problematic associated with union issues, which include collective bargaining processes, the risks of possible strikes and the correct arbitration court, each time that can have significant economic and operational impacts on companies.

The research associated with the contracting schemes of third parties implemented by the companies (independent contractors, time-based service companies) generate great concerns, especially since it has not been possible to issue clear regulations that differentiate the contracting schemes.

Finally, the configuration of wage labor structures, work days and appropriate disciplinary processes for each company is a constant requirement that allows to properly manage labor relations.

What are the innovation processes that the firm has been carrying out?

We are currently making important investments in technology and research issues. We are also structuring the opening of the area of International Labor Law, which will allow adequate accompaniment to clients and even the Government, in the face of all labor issues that are discussed at international level in instances such as the ILO, the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights, among other.

Should one add to the pending reforms (tax, health, justice) one of work, taking into account the high informality of the country and the entry of the new Government with the elected president Iván Duque?

Undoubtedly the development of correct public employment policies should be a central theme of the new Government, as well as the technification of the Ministry of Labor and the solution of the pension problem.

In my opinion, it is appropriate to review certain labor legal institutions that are anachronistic and do not adapt to the current reality of labor relations. Additionally, there is a historical debt with the country that has not been fulfilled since the Political Constitution of 1991 was promulgated, as it is to issue the labor statute.

In this regard, we hope that the Congress of the Republic proposes a serious and technical debate regarding labor issues that must be addressed in this legislation.

What are the recommendations for companies that are violating labor standards?

They must agree as an obligation of the independent contractor, that the latter contracts people through labor contracts, with the recognition of all benefits of law.

What political and labor challenges does the country mean for the change of Congress and the blockade that exists against the peace process with the FARC?

It is possible that within the framework of the implementation and development of the peace agreement with the Farc, cooperative hiring schemes should be rethought and revitalized, especially that of the cooperative work cooperatives in the agricultural and industrial sector that are poorly designed.

By La República Daily

June 25th, 2018