The Constitutional Court says the Ministry of Labor usurped functions of Congress with a resolution on domestic work
photo from listin diario
Santo Domingo.- Yesterday, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Ministry of Labor’s resolution on domestic work violated the principles of separation of powers, legality, and legal certainty enshrined in the Constitution, as it encroached upon the functions reserved for the National Congress.
In its judgment TC-0402/23, the Constitutional Court declared resolution number 14-2022, which aimed to adopt and harmonize measures related to the implementation of Convention 189 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), not in accordance with the Constitution. The resolution was issued by the Ministry of Labor on August 25, 2022, and its provisions were previously published.
The Court stated that the measures outlined in the resolution constituted significant modifications to the existing legal framework established in Title IV of the Labor Code, which specifically addresses domestic work (articles 258 to 265 of the Labor Code).
Upon reviewing the contested resolution, the Court found that it regulated aspects such as working hours, vacations, payment methods, contracts, and specific regulations for domestic work. The Court noted that the resolution did not simply improve the provisions already established in the special law (Labor Code).
The Constitutional Court reaffirmed its previous rulings that regulations and resolutions must be subordinate to the law. Therefore, it argued that the power of the Minister of Labor is limited to issuing residual and subordinate provisions, which must align with the regulations adopted by the legislature.
The Court explained that resolutions cannot modify aspects enshrined in the law, especially in the case of special laws like the Labor Code. Regulations or resolutions should strictly adhere to the content of the law and should not create new situations that are not provided for in the legal texts.
In summary, the Constitutional Court determined that the Ministry of Labor’s resolution on domestic work overstepped its authority by making substantial modifications to the provisions set forth in the Labor Code, which can only be done through legislative processes.