Mandatory isolation has been longer than predicted by most companies. Luckily, most of our clients were able to migrate rapidly to teleworking. Teleworking will be a very valuable resource when reopening facilities and we highly recommend executing an agreement with employees, providing that such benefit is only granted while sanitary emergency is in place or for a fixed period of time. Although the restart of businesses involving reopening of facilities has not been established on a national level, we are prepared for whenever this might occur. We have organised an interdisciplinary team of specialists (including lawyers, doctors and health, safety and hygiene specialists) ready to analyse each case and assist clients with restarting their businesses. Protocols and tailor-made safety measures will be critical to ensure a safe workplace. Prohibition of dismissals for no cause or due to force majeure, as well as duplication of severance compensation provided for dismissals for no cause, have also been enacted and extended for a significant period of time. These measures have forced employers to explore other alternatives, such as agreed furloughs or agreed terminations.
Decrees, orders or guidelines in effect and pertaining to reopening facilities.
As of June 2020, Argentina is still under Mandatory Social Isolation (ASPO), with only essential activities allowed to open. Decree 297/2020, which originally established ASPO regarding essential activities, provided that employers must guarantee health and safety conditions as established by the Ministry of Health in order to preserve the health of the employees. Furthermore, the Ministry of Labour, through Resolution 202/2020, provided that employees affected by mandatory isolation, wherever possible, must render services remotely from their homes. Nonetheless, section 6 of Resolution 202/2020 compels employers to take all measures necessary, in order to ensure that the working conditions and environment meet the legal standards in accordance with the protocols established by the health authority for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. In this regard, the Superintendent of Occupational Risks has been publishing on their website, recommendations, guidelines and protocols for a safe workplace. Although no mandatory measures have been issued regarding the reopening of facilities on a national level, Decree 459/2020 provides that every province can mandate different measures required for reopening. Accordingly, pursuant to Decree 297/2020, Resolution 202/2020 and section 75 of Labour Contract Law (LCL), employers must ensure that sufficient safety measures are implemented in order to provide a healthy and safe workplace.
Optimal approach to keep track of the latest updates.
Clients are encouraged to communicate openly and continuously with their dedicated Labour Risk Insurance Company (ART).
The latest recommendations and guidelines published by the Superintendent of Occupational Risks are available at: https://www.argentina.gob.ar/srt
Also, a special section of the government’s website offers advice on COVID-19: