Covid-19: Latin America Overview | Labor law

Through the Decree of Necessity and Urgency Nº 329/2020, the Argentine Executive Power set forth the extension of the Social, Preventive and Mandatory Isolation period until April 12th, 2020 (date that, in turn, was extended by subsequent decrees). Additionally, the referred Decree of Necessity and Urgency provided several measures regarding the labor legislation, such as:

  • The prohibition of dismissals without justified cause together with those decided by employers under the argument of force majeure or lack or reduction of work not imputable to the employer for a period of 60 business days from the date of publication.
  • The prohibition of any suspensions decided by employers invoking force majeure or a luck or reduction of work not imputable to the employer for a period of 60 business days from the date of publication.
  • An exemption to the above mentioned prohibitions for the specific cases of suspensions provided for in Section 223 bis of the Labor Contract Act, that is, suspensions agreed upon with the individual employee or with the union on the grounds of force majeure or lack of/reduction of work not attributable to the employer and formally approved by the enforcing labor authority.
  • In the event of not complying with the aforementioned prohibitions, said dismissals and suspensions shall not be effective and the existing labor legislation will remain in force under their current conditions.

The Decree of Necessity and Urgency Nº487/2020, published on May 25, 2020, extended the preceding decree for a period of 60 more days since its expiration, remaining changeless the same prohibitions and exemptions listed above.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, by means of the Resolution Nº 207/2020 -extended by Resolution Nº 296/2020 for the period that lasts the Social, Preventive and Mandatory Isolation- set forth the suspension of the duty of attendance to their workplaces without withholding of wages for the following individuals, no matter the legal link concerned:

  1. Employees over the age of 60 (except from those considered among the essential working population in the health care sector).
  2. Pregnant women.
  3. Employees included in the high risk patient groups as defined by the national health authority.

Said employees must agree with their employer the conditions under which their tasks will be carried out from their place of isolation, within the context of contractual good faith.