Are there any regulations in place providing an employer with possibility for flexible workforce planning such as part-time work/temporary leave which are triggered in a situation similar to a pandemic outbreak as Covid-19?
Yes. Home office has been adopted and encouraged, when possible, for all employees to which their job descriptions allows them to adopt such work-mode. The Legislative Assembly approved on 19 March 2020 the Telework Regulation Law; a law that was observed by the President and is pending approval, issuance and publication, Nonetheless, this work-mode has been adopted by the majority of companies that are not authorized to continue operating in their regular work establishments.
If YES on question 1, please describe which type of regulation. Please confirm if and to what extent such leave can be supported by state aid and/or other extra-ordinary governmental support.
Telework Regulation Law (still waiting for it to be approved and published).
If such leave is imposed due to being infected, then it will be supported by state aid.
In the event of illness, employees covered by Social Security shall be entitled, within the limitations set by the respective regulations, to receive medical, surgical, pharmaceutical, dental, hospital and laboratory services, and such prosthetic and orthotic devices as are deemed necessary.
The Social Security Institute shall provide the benefits referred to above either directly or through the people or entities contracted for that purpose. When an illness results in a temporary disability for work, the insured will also be entitled to a financial benefit. The regulations determine the time at which the benefits shall begin to be paid, the duration and the amount of the benefit; the amount will be fixed in accordance with a chart relating to the wages earned, or income received.
Art. 48 Social Security Act
A national state of emergency has been decreed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to this declaration, any worker who is quarantined by Covid-19, ordered by the competent health authority, may not be fired. The guarantee of employment stability will begin after the quarantine is issued, and will extend for three months.
Teleworking may be applied by employers. The government just approved teleworking regulation for companies that are likely to organize teleworking in relation to their business to make systematic and widespread use of it.
Specific measures have been adopted by the Government (Extra-ordinary government support). Credit incentives, an extension of the term for payment of taxes, suspension of payment of electric energy, water, telephone, cable and internet fees, freezing of commercial rental payments for three months, among others). The process to request these benefits is still on development.
if YES on question 1, please describe which contacts that may need to be initiated with trade unions and/or works councils. Must a special process be followed?
Are there any governmental programs if a company needs to close totally or partially for a certain time period?
If state aid and/or other extra-ordinary governmental support is available, please describe the necessary prerequisites to qualify for such state aid.
Necessary prerequisites: 1) That the company has closed its operations due to the emergency and 2) that the company has sent its employees to their homes for quarantine, maintaining their salaries and legal benefits.
If state aid and/or other extra-ordinary governmental support is available, please describe the application procedure for such state aid (e.g. how and when is the application filed with the government etcetera; what shall such application include).
Where a business has suffered damage due to Covid-19, they can apply for credit incentives, for which the company need to fill the prequalification form to certify companies interested in credit incentives for voluntary closure in the context of the Covid-19 emergency. The form must include the name of the company, Tax ID, activity, information of contact, among other.
Regarding the extra-ordinary government support measures abovementioned, there´s no application procedure since they are available at the discretion of the companies.
Please note that the COVID-19 scenario is constantly changing and that this information is current as of 04 June 2020. This publication should not be regarded as offering a complete explanation of the legal matters referred to and is subject to changes in the law and other applicable rules.