“The Knowledge Economy Law is an engine to get out of the crisis”

The knowledge economy sector is one that could adapt the fastest to help the country emerge from the recession after the pandemic. But this activity is in limbo after the law, unanimously approved last year and already regulated, was suspended before it took effect in January.

The national government sent Congress a bill to modify the norm, which has already been approved by deputies and is now awaiting its turn in the upper house.

For the benchmarks in the sector, the important thing, now, is that this be approved to have a framework for action.

Luis Galeazzi, executive director of Argencon, the association that brings together companies that provide professional, technological, cultural and other knowledge services, stresses that the implementation of this regime is key to emerging from the current recession. It also opines on the norm to regulate “teleworking”.

How do you evaluate the current project of the knowledge economy?

–The most important thing today is to get out of this impasse. The law should have been in effect in January and it goes six months without any rules. That’s bad. The main objective is for there to be a swift law, that is regulated and that can be in force this year.

When do you think it could get going?

– Still lack the instance in the Senate and the regulation. Last year it took three months. An advisory council must also be created. With a favorable wind, it could be in force in the last quarter. It is key that the law is in place because it is an engine that can ignite employment and exports. The pandemic made this regimen more necessary.

What changes in the law do you see as improvements and what are not?

–A positive point is having treated the various populations well. It includes benefits for female employment, from disadvantaged geographical areas, to those with disabilities. Instead, some benefits have been lost. The most important are fiscal stability for 10 years, which is not foreseen now, and a lower recovery of taxes that the exporter pays abroad.

What aspects remain?

–The two main benefits follow. The first is the reduction of employer contributions by 70 percent in general and by 80 percent for special populations. And the other is the 60 percent reduction in the Income Tax rate.

How did companies adjust to the suspension of the law in January?

–There are two different situations. Companies that already had benefits under the law of software, which ended on December 31, in January they stopped having them, because this was a continuation. They go six months without anything. It is assumed that when the standard is changed they would be given a retroactive benefit.

And the rest?

–In the rest of the sectors, which were not in the softwareThere were many companies that had made projects to expand employment and offices, because it was an approved law, regulated and with everything to come into force. All of this froze and many of these initiatives are dead because the opportunity was passed.

Did expectations change regarding impact?

–We maintain the same expectation as with the previous law. The global market continues to have opportunities in technological transformation that are even going to accelerate.

What would be the concrete effect on the activity of this law?

–For example, today the knowledge sector exports 6,000 million dollars, and we believe that it can be doubled. The projections for the end of the decade are 15,000 million and we would be the second exporter after the field. But we have to take advantage of the moment and regain participation in a growing international market.

And in terms of employment?

–Today we have 440,000 dependent jobs and a very high number of independent professionals. Both registered work and freelance they can be doubled in the same period. It is employment of quality and with salaries above the average. For this you need to work in the educational system, in technical and English training.

Another regulation that will impact the sector is the telework law.

– Regarding this we have mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is imposed as a discipline in the modern world, and it is good for companies and for workers. It is a modality highly demanded by young people and women. But a complicated law emerged, with complexities of implementation and over-regulation. We would like some articles in the Senate to be corrected.

As which?

– One is that additional registries are created that cause a useless bureaucracy. On the other hand, teleworking is indicated as the only modality when there are many different forms of remote work: in the worker’s home, in that of a client, in a hotel if he is traveling. The entire law is applied as if it were done at home or in the company.

–Are these aspects not taken into account?

–The law lacks that it is spoken with the sectors that have experience and know the practices that make it so demanded and requested by the workers. It seeks to protect the worker from eventual abuse, but they put obstacles to its expansion. It is not a promotion law, but rather a defense of some rights that are apparently threatened. The focus deviates from the incentive.

-In what sense?

–Experience indicates that the company and the worker agree on the modality, time and period of the month for remote work. It is not a rigid format as it arises from the law, which must be complied with and controlled. Modern work, especially in knowledge companies, is dynamic and must be adapted at all times.

It is more flexible.

–For example, a project comes out in a client and you work there; or if you go on a trip, you can connect for a few days. Employees look for this modality because it can be accommodated. But this is not well interpreted in the law because it says that the worker And the employer is bound by what is written.

“Maybe it was done thinking about this moment …

–If you imagine that the way to telework is to be in the house locked in quarantine, you are wrong. It seems that the current model was taken for the law as if it were permanent; And actually, remote work is something different.

Currency and employment

With the new regime, the sector plans to double them in a decade.

Exports. In 2018, the knowledge economy exported for $ 6 billion.

Items. 60% were professional services (accounting, financial, auditing, legal, engineering, architecture, consulting), another 30% corresponded to computer technology; and the rest, the majority are creative industries with audiovisual products.

Job. It has more than 437,000 jobs with wages 35% higher than the economy average.