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Article | Global News Briefs

Ecuador: Mandatory occupational health promotion plans

By Julio Sanchez | July 26, 2023

Employers in Ecuador in the public and private sectors to develop and implement occupational health promotion plans, including the appointment of a health professional.
Health and Benefits|Benessere integrato|Ukupne nagrade

Employer Action Code: Act

New regulations require companies with 25 or more employees in the public and private sectors to develop and implement occupational health promotion plans, including the appointment of a health professional to lead and report on the execution of the plans to the Ministry of Health (MoH). The plans are intended to engage employers in the protection of employees’ wellbeing, as well as to foster healthy practices both in and out of the workplace. Compliant companies will receive a certification (referred to as “Activate y vive”) which, starting January 1, 2024, will be required for obtaining operating permits.

Key details

The new requirements under Ministerial Agreement 049-2022, effective January 1, 2024, include:

  • Employers with 25 or more employees must develop occupational health promotion plans, including health/wellbeing assessments to identify risk factors involved in the company’s activities and typical employee health issues (both work- and non-work-related). In addition, employers must take active measures to promote healthy living and lifestyle practices, taking into account workplace risk factors (e.g., physical, biological and psychosocial risks) and personal health conditions (e.g., nutrition, mental health, sexual and reproductive health). Measures may include reviewing parts of production processes that can affect employees’ health, providing healthy foods on-site (e.g., fresh fruit baskets), and subsidizing gym memberships, smoking cessation and substance abuse programs, among others. 
  • The plans must be submitted to the MoH for evaluation and oversight. Employers must appoint an in-house or external health professional to carry out and supervise the plans and to report to the MoH on their implementation. (Note: The Labor Code requires companies with 25 or more employees to have a first aid/medical room, and those with 100 or more employees to have in-house medical services).
  • During MoH evaluation of the plans, companies must also set up a health education program to raise employees’ awareness of health-related matters, such as the prevention of common diseases (e.g., diabetes, sexually transmitted infections), substance abuse, and nutrition education, among others.
  • The MoH will provide compliant companies with an Activate y vive certification, valid for two years. Applications by employers for renewal of the certification must be filed at least four months before expiry. Enforcement will begin on January 1, 2024, when workplaces without a valid certificate will be deemed to be out of compliance.

Employer implications

Around 90% of surveyed companies provide wellbeing benefits. However, of these companies only about a third include wellbeing services for workplace health promotion topics that will be required under the new regulations. Employers must submit their health promotion plans to the MoH and obtain a compliance certificate by the end of 2023. Affected employers are encouraged to start reviewing their policies and practices and prepare to comply with the required implementation of a health promotion plan and health education program.


Julio Sanchez

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