Law No. 20.786, which is known as Dual Education and Dual Technical Training Law, was approved by the Legislature on August 12, 2019. The law sets forth new conditions which allow students to train in two learning areas: a) in a school or training institution with professional technical training, and, b) in a company. Dual education is a system that combines classroom teaching with an apprenticeship in companies. This allows the student to acquire skills and experience while the employer to benefit from the student´s work, and at the same time, train its new employees. The main goal of the law is that students over 15, who voluntarily enroll in dual education programs, obtain the soft skills of the professional career and the experience to improve their employability at the end of their academic and technical training. This whole process will take effect when the dual education law is signed by the Costa Rican President; the law´s regulations will be issued six months after the law is published in the Official Gazette.

As part of the process, the student will sign an enrollment agreement with the school or educational center, and that institution will sign a dual education agreement with the company that will train the student. Companies must comply with several requirements to implement dual education:

  • Apply the dual education programs in accordance with the legal framework.
  • Obtain a workers' compensation policy to cover students.
  • Pay ¢120.000 (approx. USD$205) every month per student (applicable only to big companies).
  • Have the minimum conditions and equipment for the development of the study program.
  • Not have pending debts with the Social Security Administration -CCSS, the Employee Protection Law, or FODESAF (Social Development and Family Allowances).
  • Have a certified employee as a mentor.
  • Guarantee a space free of physical, labor and psychological harassment.
  • Not have pending debts with the Tax Authority.
  • Allow the school staff to visit the company's facilities.
  • Perform student evaluations according to the program.
  • Receive a number of students that do not exceed the company´s installed capacity.
  • Sign an agreement with the Government.

The Employment and Labor Practice of Dentons Muñoz Costa Rica offers legal advice relating to:

  • Legislation review to determine compliance with current labor regulations related to employability matters.
  • Legal opinions in reference to employment matters related to dual education.
  • Practical and strategic tips to prevent future legal issues.

To obtain legal advice on this topic or any other topic regarding Costa Rican Labor and Employment, Human Resources and Immigration Law, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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