Photo via Revista Costos

A third of the Argentine workforce is currently left out of the formal economy. This means that 4.25 million people who have jobs don’t have their government-regulated contributions — pension and health insurance payments, among others — paid into the system by their employers who for different reasons, all illegal, choose not to.

Macri’s administrations says it wants to change that. To do so, it intends on offering to cover for employers and subsidize the contributions they should pay for three years in exchange for them to integrate their employees into the formal economy.

The goal is to bring in 300,000 workers per year until 2019, La Nación reports. “We’re betting on a ‘shock’ of formalizing and are willing to make a fiscal effort to make it happen,” said Labor Minister Jorge Triaca.

The benefit would only apply to workers who earn a gross salary of up to AR $12,000, but there could be exceptions depending on the location of the company that would receive the government assistance. People who work in the southern provinces tend to have higher nominal salaries which in real terms are similar to the rest of the country’s due to the region’s high living costs.

The Government is hoping that the construction, textile and agricultural industries will be the first to receive the subsidies, as they are the ones that tend to have the largest percentage of workers being paid under the table.

The project, however, is still in its early stages and it’s uncertain whether it will become a law or a decree. Moreover, the Government hasn’t defined how it will be financed yet. According to La Nación, raising the age of retirement has been considered as one of the ways of paying for the program.

The only thing that is certain so far is that they will call the “labor and production board” — composed of government representatives along with union and business leaders — to try reach consensus and put together an initiative that satisfies everyone.



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