Carnival celebrations may have already started with megablocks in São Paulo and the rest of the country, but the date on which the festivities are celebrated, next Tuesday (13), is not a national holiday. In some municipalities, it is an optional point. Only in Rio de Janeiro is Carnival a public holiday.
In places where there is an optional period, it is up to the employer to decide whether the time off will be granted at no cost to the employee. If you are called to work and are absent, there may be pay deductions, warnings or dismissal for just cause if there is no medical certificate justifying the absence.
In São Paulo, Carnival is an optional event. The state of Rio de Janeiro considers the celebration a day of rest.
If there is a municipal law that decrees the date as a holiday, the day off is mandatory, except in cases where collective norms require the employee to work, as is the case in sectors considered essential.
In these cases, the worker may receive double overtime or take time off on another date. In places where Carnival is an optional event, if called to work, the employee must comply with the request normally, without additional rights.
Larissa Maschio Escuder, coordinator of the labor area at Jorge Advogados, states that the employee can negotiate with the employer to be able to take time off on that date and compensate in some way later.
“Time off can be negotiated using the time bank or by compensating the day worked before or after, however, the decision is up to the employer. In cases where the boss releases the employee for Carnival, there should be no burden or compensation later, as it is a voluntary decision by the employer”, she says.
Escuder says that if an employee decides to take a day off on their own, there may be consequences. The employee is subject to salary deduction and, if there is already a history of unjustified absences, the attitude may result in warnings, suspensions and even dismissal for just cause.
If the employee presents a legitimate medical certificate stating the need for rest on Carnival day, he or she will be entitled to time off without deduction from hours or pay and cannot be dismissed for just cause.
Escuder states that even if the employee uses the certificate to take advantage of Carnival, there is no dismissal for just cause. But the practice is not recommended, since, if the boss finds out, it could have long-term consequences for the worker’s reputation.
“It is also important to emphasize that the company has the right to dismiss any employee without prior notice or reason, even though it has immunity from just cause, this trick does not protect the employee who was caught in the revelry”, says the lawyer.