Annex II – Teleservice / Telemarketing


1. Objective
2. Scope
3. Work station furniture
4. Work station equipment
5. Environmental conditions in the workplace
6. Organization of work
7. Training of employees
8. Sanitary and comfort conditions
9. Occupational health surveillance program and ergonomic work analysis
10. People with disabilities
11. Temporary Provisions

1. Objective

1.1 To define the requirements for working in tele-service/telemarketing activities in the various modalities of this service, to ensure maximum comfort, safety, health and efficiency.

2. Scope

2.1 The provisions of this Annex apply to all organizations that conduct outbound or inbound teleservice/telemarketing operations in call centers and/or customer relationship centers for the provision of services, information, and the marketing of products.

2.1.1 A call center is a work environment in which the main activity is carried out by telephone and/or radio with the simultaneous use of computer terminals. This Annex also applies to sectors of organizations and workstations dedicated to this activity, in addition to those organizations specifically dedicated to this activity.

2.1.2 Tele-service/tele-marketing is understood to be work in which communication with clients and users is carried out at a distance by means of voice and/or electronic messages, with the simultaneous use of hearing/listening and telephone speech equipment and computerized or manual data-processing systems.

3. Workstation furniture

3.1 For manual work performed while seated or standing, the employees shall be provided with furniture that complies with Chapter 17.6 Workstation furniture of NR-17, and that allows for postural variations, with easy-to-use adjustments to provide sufficient space for comfort, and that meets the following requirements:

a) the display screen and keyboard shall be placed on surfaces with independent adjustment mechanisms,

b) a single adjustable surface for keyboard and monitor is acceptable if the monitor has an independent adjustment range of at least 26 cm (twenty-six centimeters) in the vertical plane,

c) the work bench without consultation material shall have a minimum depth of 75 cm (seventy-five centimeters) measured from its front edge and a width of 90 cm (ninety centimeters), providing manual reach zones with a maximum radius of 65 cm (sixty-five centimeters) on each side, measured at the center of the operator’s shoulders in the working position,

d) the workbench with consultation material shall have a minimum depth of 90 cm (ninety centimeters) from its front edge and a width of 100 cm (one hundred centimeters), providing zones of manual reach with a maximum radius of 65 cm (sixty-five centimeters) on each side, measured at the center of the operator’s shoulders in the working position, for free use and access to documents,

e) the work surface shall have rounded edges,

f) work surfaces shall be vertically adjustable to a minimum of 13 cm (five inches) from the top so that the soles of the feet can rest on the floor,

g) the on-screen pointing device (mouse) shall be supported on the same surface as the keyboard, in an easily accessible area and with sufficient space for free use,

h) the space under the work surface shall have a minimum free depth of 45 cm (forty-five centimeters) at knee height and 70 cm (seventy centimeters) at foot height, measured from the front edge of the work surface,

i) in cases where the operator’s feet do not reach the floor, even after the seat has been adjusted, a footrest must be provided which adapts to the length of the worker’s legs, allowing the soles of the feet to rest, with an adjustable inclination and a surface covered in non-slip material, and

j) the seats shall be provided with:

I – support on 05 (five) feet, with castors whose traction prevents involuntary movement, and which do not impair the stability of the seat,

II – surfaces in contact with the body upholstered and covered with breathable material,

III – base padded with material with a density of between 40 (forty) and 50 (fifty) kg/m3,

IV – upper surface height adjustable in relation to the floor between 37 cm (thirty-seven centimeters) and 50 cm (fifty centimeters). Up to three types of chairs with different heights can be used to meet the needs of all operators,

V – useful depth of 38 cm (thirty-eight centimeters) to 46 cm (forty-six centimeters),

VI – rounded front edge,

VII – features with little or no shaping at the base,

VIII – backrest adjustable in height and inclination and slightly adapted to the body to protect the lumbar region,

IX – a minimum width of 40 cm (forty centimeters) and a minimum height of 30,5 cm (thirty-five centimeters) for the backrest, and

X – armrests adjustable in height between 20 cm (twenty centimeters) and 25 cm (twenty-five centimeters) from the seat, the length of which shall not interfere with the movement of the chair in relation to the table or with the movements necessary for carrying out the task.

4. Workstation equipment

4.1 Individual sets of microphones and headsets shall be provided free of charge to enable operators to alternate the use of their ears during the working day and shall be replaced when they become defective or wear out from use.

4.1.1 Alternatively, a headset may be provided for each workstation, provided that the parts that could cause any type of infection or health risk are used individually.

4.1.2 Headsets shall:

a) be ensured by the employer to be properly sanitized and in the operating conditions recommended by the manufacturer,

b) be replaced immediately if irregular operating conditions are detected by the operator,

c) have operating devices and controls that are easy to use and reach, and

d) allow individual adjustment of the sound level and be equipped with a system to protect against acoustic shocks and unwanted high intensity noise and to ensure that messages are understood.

4.2 The organization shall ensure the correct operation and ongoing maintenance of communication equipment, including headsets, by technical personnel familiar with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

4.3 Display screens shall provide correct viewing angles and be positioned in front of the operator. They shall be fitted with adjustments to enable the screen to be properly adjusted to the ambient lighting and to protect the worker from unwanted reflections.

4.4 Any introduction of new methods or technological devices that change the way employees work shall be preceded by a preliminary ergonomic assessment or ergonomic work analysis (EWA), which shall provide for appropriate training and adaptation periods and procedures.

5. Environmental conditions in the workplace

5.1 Workplaces shall be provided with suitable acoustic conditions for telephone communication, with preventive measures being taken to ensure compliance with the noise level specified in item and its subitems of NR-17.

5.2 Workplaces shall comply with item of NR 17 regarding temperature, air velocity and humidity to ensure thermal comfort at the workplace.

5.2.1 Appropriate workplace air conditioning projects shall be implemented to provide an even distribution of temperatures and air flows, using local and/or area control of temperature, speed, and direction of flow where appropriate.

5.2.2 The organization may install equipment to allow workers to monitor the temperature, air velocity and humidity in the workplace.

5.3 In order to prevent the so-called “Sick Building Syndrome”, it shall be complied with the provisions of Law No. 13,589 of 4 January 2018 and the provisions of item of NR01 – General Provisions and Occupational Risk Management, as well as the provisions of the Reference Standards for Indoor Air Quality in Artificially Conditioned Environments for Public and Collective Use, as amended by Resolution No. 9 of 16 January 2003 of the National Health Regulatory Agency – ANVISA, or any other that may replace it.

5.3.1 The air conditioning installations, especially the engine room air mixing plenum, shall not be used for the storage of materials.

5.3.2 The discharge of condensation water shall not be connected to the sewage system.

6. Organization of work

6.1 Work shall be organized in such a way that no activities are carried out, in whole or in part, on Sundays or public holidays, except for organizations authorized in advance by the competent labor authority in accordance with Article 68 of the Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT) and activities provided for by law.

6.1.1 Where previously authorized, employees shall be guaranteed at least one paid weekly rest day per month, coinciding with Sunday, regardless of targets, absences and/or productivity.

6.1.2 Weekend and public holiday schedules shall be established and communicated to employees in advance, in accordance with Article 67, sole paragraph, and Article 386 of the CLT, or through collective agreements or conventions. The organization shall take into account the needs of employees in establishing working schedules that take into account the special family life needs of employees with dependents, in particular nursing mothers, including special flexibility in changing schedules and in the use of breaks.

6.1.3 Working hours may be extended beyond the legal limit only in exceptional cases, for reasons of force majeure, imperative necessity or for the performance or completion of services which are unavoidable or the non-performance of which may cause obvious damage, as provided for in Article 61 of the CLT.

6.2 The number of operators shall be proportionate to the production requirements to avoid habitual overwork of the worker.

6.2.1 The number of operators in each establishment shall be sufficient to ensure that each can take the breaks and rests provided for in this Annex.

6.3 The maximum working hours for teleservice/telemarketing activities shall be 6 (six) hours per day, including breaks, without prejudice to remuneration.

6.3.1 The extension of the time provided for in this item shall only be permitted in accordance with the provisions of the law, without prejudice to the breaks provided for in this Annex, respecting the limit of 36 (thirty-six) hours per week of effective time in teleservice/telemarketing activities.

6.3.2 When calculating the effective time spent on teleservice/telemarketing activities, the time spent at the workplace, breaks between work cycles and time spent to solve work-related problems shall be taken into account.

6.4 In order to prevent static mental and muscular strain on the neck, shoulders, back and upper limbs, the organization shall allow workers to take rest and meal breaks.

6.4.1 Breaks shall be taken:

a) away from the workstation,

b) in two (2) periods of ten (10) consecutive minutes, and

c) after the first and before the last sixty (60) minutes of work in tele-service/telemarketing activities. The introduction of breaks does not affect the right to the compulsory rest and meal breaks provided for in §1 of art. 71 of the CLT. 

6.4.2 The rest and meal break for telemarketing shall be 20 (twenty) minutes.

6.4.3 For tele-service/telemarketing work of up to 4 (four) hours per day, 1 (one) uninterrupted rest break of 10 (ten) minutes shall be taken.

6.4.4 Rest breaks shall be recorded on paper or electronically. The electronic record of breaks shall be made available in printed form to the Labor Inspectorate for inspection whenever required. Workers shall have access to their break records.

6.4.5 Breaks shall be provided immediately after work involving threats, verbal abuse, or aggression, or which has been particularly stressful, to enable the worker to recover and to discuss conflicts and difficulties with colleagues, supervisors or specially trained occupational health professionals.

6.5 The time required to update the operator’s knowledge and adjust the workstation is considered part of the normal working day.

6.6 Participation in any form of physical activity, if adopted by the organization, shall not be compulsory and a worker’s refusal to participate shall not be used as a basis for disciplinary action.

6.7 The organization shall allow employees to leave their workstation at any time during the working hours to meet physiological needs, without prejudice to their performance or remuneration.

6.8 Employees shall be allowed to change their posture at work according to their comfort and needs.

6.9 Productivity monitoring mechanisms, such as messages on display screens, light, color or sound signals, or indications of time spent on calls or waiting in customer queues, shall not be used to speed up work and, where they exist, shall be available for inspection by the operator at his discretion.

6.10 The following aspects of work organization shall be taken into account when developing preventive programs:

a) compatibility of targets with working conditions and time offered,

b) performance monitoring,

c) the impact on employees’ health of any system of assessment for the purposes of remuneration and benefits of any kind,

d) increased time pressure during peak periods, and

e) periods of adaptation to the job.

6.11 The organization shall not:

a) require strict adherence to the service script or itinerary, and

b) impose on the operator any time periods or work interruptions that are not dependent on the operator’s behavior.

6.12 The use of monitoring procedures to listen to and record calls shall only take place with the knowledge of the operator.

6.13 It is prohibited to use methods that cause moral harassment, fear, or embarrassment, such as:

a) improperly encouraging competition between employees or work groups/teams,

b) requiring employees to wear props, accessories, costumes, and clothing, whether permanently or temporarily, for the purposes of punishment, promotion or advertising, and

c) the public display of operator performance ratings.

6.14 Conflicts and role ambiguity in the tasks to be performed shall be minimized to reduce operator stress, by clearly establishing guidelines regarding orders and instructions from different hierarchical levels, autonomy for problem solving, authorization for call transfers and necessary consultations with colleagues and supervisors.

6.15 Computer systems shall be designed, implemented, and updated continuously and sufficiently to mitigate overwork, such as constant use of short-term memory, use of precarious notes, duplication and overlap of paper notes and computer systems.

6.16 Guidelines on work dialogue shall not require employees to give their surnames to clients to protect their privacy and personal safety.

7. Training and qualification of employees

7.1 All operational and managerial employees shall receive training that provides knowledge of the types of diseases related to their work, their causes, health effects and preventive measures.

7.1.1 Training shall also be compulsory for temporary employees.

7.1.2 Training shall include the following items:

a) an understanding of the risk factors to health in tele-service/telemarketing,

b) preventive measures to reduce work-related risks,

c) information on the symptoms of illnesses that may be related to tele-service/telemarketing activities, particularly those affecting the musculoskeletal system, mental health, voice, hearing and visual acuity of workers, and

d) information on the correct use of adjustment mechanisms for furniture and workstation equipment, including guidance on ear switching when using monaural or binaural headsets and on cleaning and replacing voice tubes. The initial training shall be four (4) hours in duration at the time of hire, and periodic training shall be provided every six (6) months, notwithstanding any awareness campaigns organized by the employer. During the training, it is mandatory to distribute training material with the content presented. Training shall take place during working hours.

7.2 Workers shall receive mandatory training when new risk factors are introduced as a result of methods, equipment, specific types of service, changes in management or procedures.

7.3 The preparation of the technical content, implementation, and evaluation of the results of the training procedures shall involve the participation of:

a) personnel from organization and methods responsible for organizing work in the company, if any,

b) members of the Specialized Occupational Health and Safety Service (SESMT), if any,

c) workers’ representatives on the Internal Committee for Prevention of Accidents – CIPA, if any, (wording effective until March 19, 2023)

d) workers’ representatives on the Internal Committee for Prevention of Accidents and Harassment – CIPA, if any, (MTP Ordinance No. 4.219, of 20 December 2022 – wording effective as of March 20, 2023)

d) the physician responsible for the Occupational Health Surveillance Program – PCMSO,

e) those responsible for the Risk Management Program (PGR), and

f) workers’ representatives and other entities, when provided for in collective labor agreements or conventions.

8. Sanitary and comfort conditions

8.1 Good sanitary and comfort conditions shall be guaranteed, including toilets that are permanently suitable for use and separated by gender, a place to have meals and individual lockers with keys to store belongings during the working hours.

8.2 All employees shall be provided with unrestricted and close access to drinking water, in addition to the provisions of NR24 – Sanitary and Comfort Conditions in Workplaces.

8.3 The organization shall maintain comfortable environments for rest and recuperation during breaks, outside the working environment, sized in proportion to the number of operators using them, where seating, drinking water, sanitary facilities and waste bins with lids are available.

9. Occupational health surveillance program and ergonomic work analysis

9.1 The organization shall provide employees with Occupational Health Certificates (Atestado de Saúde Ocupacional – ASO), which shall be provided in hard copy upon request, and copies of the results of other examinations.

9.2 The organization shall implement an epidemiological surveillance program for the early detection of proven or suspected work-related illnesses, which shall include passive surveillance procedures (processing spontaneous requests from workers for medical services) and active surveillance procedures through targeted medical examinations, including, in addition to the examinations required by law, the collection of data on symptoms related to the mental, musculoskeletal, vocal, visual and auditory systems, analyzed and presented using statistical and epidemiological tools.

9.2.1 The organization shall implement the following to promote the employees’ vocal health, among other measures:

a) dialogue models that favor micro-pauses and avoid intensive operator vocal load,

b) reduction of background noise, and

c) frequent drinking of potable water provided free of charge to operators.

9.3 Notification of occupational diseases and those caused by special working conditions, whether proven or suspected, will be obligatory by issuing a Workplace Accident Notification (Comunicação de Acidente de Trabalho – CAT), in accordance with article 169 of the CLT and current legislation on Social Security. 

9.4 The EWA, if indicated by one of the paragraphs of item 17.3.2 of NR17, shall include:

a) a description of the characteristics of the workstation in terms of furniture, equipment, tools, physical space for performing the work and conditions for positioning and movement of parts of the body,

b) an assessment of the organization of work, showing:

I – actual work and prescribed work,

II – description of production in relation to the time allocated to tasks,

III – daily, weekly and monthly variations in workload, including seasonal variations and the most frequent technical-operational complications,

IV – the number of work cycles and their description, including shift work and night work,

V – the frequency of breaks between cycles,

VI – explanation of production standards, time requirements, determination of time content, pace of work and content of tasks performed,

VII – a monthly record of overtime worked each year, and

VIII – an explanation of the existence of static or dynamic overloads of the musculoskeletal system,

c) a statistical report on the incidence of complaints of health problems collected by the Occupational Health Department from medical records,

d) reports on assessments of job satisfaction and organizational climate, if carried out in the organization,

e) the records and analysis of workers’ comments and suggestions regarding the aforementioned aspects, and

f) ergonomic recommendations expressed in clear and objective plans and proposals with deadlines for implementation.

9.4.1 Ergonomic work analyses shall include the following stages:

a) explanation of the demand for the study,

b) analysis of tasks, activities, and situations at work,

c) discussion and feedback of the results to the workers involved,

d) specific ergonomic recommendations for the jobs assessed,

e) evaluation and revision of the actions taken with the participation of workers, supervisors, and managers, and

f) evaluation of the effectiveness of the recommendations.

10. People with disabilities

10.1 For people with disabilities and those whose anthropometric measurements do not meet the requirements of this Annex, the workstation equipment shall be adapted to their needs and the necessary technical aids shall be available at the workstation to facilitate their integration into the work, taking into account the impact on the health of these workers.

10.2 Working conditions, including access to facilities, furniture, equipment, environmental conditions, work organization, training, sanitary conditions, prevention programs and personal safety shall take into account the needs of disabled workers.

11. Temporary Provisions

11.1 Organizations which, on 2 April 2007, required their workers to work six (6) hours a day, including 15 (fifteen) minutes paid rest and meal breaks, will only be obliged to add 5 (five) minutes, also paid, to reach a total of 20 (twenty) minutes of compulsory paid breaks granted in accordance with items 6.4.1 and 6.4.2.