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Formalisation of outsourcing in Colombia

Real outsourcing means that an outsourcing company is responsible for running a certain operation for a user company, using its own financial, technical and material resources, and assuming responsibility for the results expected and the workers involved.

However, the term has suffered a generalization that has created distortions over the concept of outsourcing.

In Colombia, explains P&eacuterez Garc&iacutea, two activities, which are clearly differentiated by both the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Colombian legislation, have been united under the same concept.

The problem, which exists in Colombia and in other Latin American countries, is that the activity is developed by entities that should not do so, such as cooperatives of work.

According to P&eacuterez Garc&iacutea, though in Colombia the delivery of workers to third parties was regulated through temporary services, with limitations as regards causes and the amount of time assignment lasts, the introduction of cooperatives in this market created legal and conceptual distortions.

The issue became more serious as the confusion expanded and other legal figures were “authorized” to do intermediation, negatively affecting the working conditions of outsourced employees. Among such entities we may find “foundations, NGO, universities, recruitment agencies, contractors, services contractors”, mentions P&eacuterez Garc&iacutea.

In order to limit the excesses of cooperatives, legal support was provided to regularize the situation. Therefore, only temporary services companies have been authorized to deliver intermediations activities.

Miguel P&eacuterez Garc&iacutea concludes saying “if we make an effort and give outsourcing its real dimension, whether it is goods, services, or human resources, we shall be taking a big step towards formalization, granting labour rights, regardless the kind of working link.”

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