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Puerto Rico gov. enacts law to boost remote work, air operations

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi has signed House Bill 1745, now the Law to Facilitate the Implementation of Remote Work in the Private Sector and Incentivize the Establishment of Air Operations Bases in Puerto Rico.

The legislation addresses the rise in remote employment opportunities following the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to attract quality jobs from companies that offer remote positions but do not do business on the island.

“This bill is in line with our public policy of making Puerto Rico an attractive place to live and work,” stated the governor. “On one hand, companies that do not have a presence on the island will be able to hire professional employees residing in Puerto Rico to work remotely in the same way as in other locations. And, on the other hand, professional individuals will be able to stay in Puerto Rico or relocate here with the same opportunities they have in a state or another jurisdiction.”

A Harvard Business Review report states that remote work “rose during the pandemic, from about 6% of full workdays in the U.S. to more than 50% in the spring of 2020. Since then, it’s steadily decreased and since early 2023 has hovered around 28%.

Pierluisi emphasized that the bill is a “consensus legislation to continue positioning Puerto Rico as an attractive destination for investment” and job creation.

“We worked closely on this project from the Labor and Human Resources Department with the House of Representatives leadership, in coordination with the Governor’s Office,” said Puerto Rico Labor Secretary Gabriel Maldonado. 

“On the one hand, we adapted the framework of Puerto Rican labor law to facilitate remote work from Puerto Rico for an employer that does not operate or have economic ties in our jurisdiction in accordance with the rules established in this new law and the Internal Revenue Code, as amended by Act 52-2022,” Maldonado said. 

The Labor secretary added that the law also encourages the establishment of airline operations bases, “aligning state labor law with operational realities” and negotiated collective agreements under federal laws governing employee and flight crew employment terms. 

“By facilitating the establishment of these types of operations, we promote the creation of hundreds of well-paying jobs and further stimulates tourism and the overall economy,” Maldonado assured. 

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