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?
Honduran labor Law establishes that force majeure and Sickness are cases in which company can ask for Work Stoppage. This must be duly authorized by the Honduran Labor Ministry.
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.
There is Work Stoppage in Honduras with authorization from the Honduran Labor Ministry in the cases for Sickness and for Force Majeure. Article 100, part B, of the Honduran Labor Code.
Also the government established the guidelines of biosecurity that need to be adopted in every working place.
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?
There is a special process. The Process must me made in the Honduran Labor Ministry and they must authorize the work stoppage. In practice, employer sends notification of work stoppage to employee. It can be from one to 120 days. Once labor department is open, employer has three days to file the Stoppage permit.
Are there any governmental programs if a company needs to close totally or partially for a certain time period?
No. Except for the work stoppage (if authorized). There are no special programs in this situations for the moment. There are some companies that the government has allowed to work because they are necessary, such as hospitals, supermarkets, pharmacies and other related.
Honduras is in a process of curfew (state of law) from 16 March 2020 to 31 of May 2020. However, Honduran Government may establish a special Decree in which they authorize some companies to close for a special period its operations.
If state aid and/or other extra-ordinary governmental support is available, please describe the necessary prerequisites to qualify for such state aid.
Yes, public services such as water and energy ministration will not stop their services despite the non payment of the people for three moths or for as long the pandemic emergency is active. The entities regulated by the National Commission of Banks and Insurance are giving a period of grace up and until 30 June 2020, without regarding the risk of the debtor to all persons and companies that are economically affected by the pandemic. There will be no charges for any reason to people in this period. All loans' dispositions will be arranged after the pandemic is over.
There is also some aid from the Mobile and internet companies with special services.
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).
For the moment there is no procedure.
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.