What is the change? The new online registry known as the Unique Registry of Foreign Workers in Colombia, or RUTEC, is a mandatory registry for all companies in Colombia who employ foreign employees.

What does the change mean? Employers must register their foreign employees, information about their employment contracts, and social security affiliation on the RUTEC online portal. Registration in RUTEC must be completed within 120 calendar days after the date of the labor contract for new employees and by Feb. 8, 2019, for current employees. Employers must also update RUTEC within 30 calendar days after a change such as the end of a labor contract, modification of economic activity, or when an employee has a change of residential address.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Who is affected: Employers who have foreign employees in Colombia.
  • Business impact: The registry enables the Colombian government and labor authorities to ensure that foreign employees are authorized to work and that employers are in compliance with their labor obligations.
  • Next steps: Employers must register their foreign employees in the system in accordance with the periods stated above. The Ministry of Labor can impose sanctions of US$260 to US$1.3 million if companies do not comply with the RUTEC registry.

Background: The registry will contain three main registrations:

  • Company registration. This will include the company name, tax ID number, industry sector, business activity and other data.
  • Labor contract registration. Employers will register the type of employment contract pertaining to each foreign employee, the contract term, employee job description and other details.
  • Social security registration. This will include foreign employees’ pension fund affiliations (if applicable), mandatory health care coverage through the Colombian system, labor risk and payroll taxes.

After a foreign employee is registered in the system, a “migrant employee” electronic certification (or a “migrant employee of the Andean Area” certification for nationals of Bolivia, Ecuador or Peru) will be issued and employers must keep the certificate in their records.

Analysis & Comments: The new registry is a tool for labor authorities to monitor immigrant labor and to ensure that employers are fulfilling all requirements regarding labor contracts, working conditions and social benefits to guarantee the rights of immigrant employees. Employers should register existing foreign employees now and do so no later than Feb. 8.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.