Last Tuesday, June 1st, Law No. 21,342 was published in the Official Gazette, which “Establishes the occupational health safety protocol for the gradual and safe return to work within the framework of the health alert decreed with the occasion of the COVID-19 disease in the country and other matters indicated therein“.
This Law establishes new obligations for the employer in companies that wish to return or continue with face-to-face work. The most relevant obligations imposed by this Law are the following:
- COVID 19 Occupational Health and Safety Protocol. It is mandatory to prepare a COVID 19 Occupational Health and Safety Protocol for those companies wishing to return or continue with face-to-face work which must contain the measures established in Article 4th of the Law. The Labor Directorate and the Health Authority may impose fines and order the immediate suspension of activities in case of non-compliance with the requirements of this Law, notwithstanding any compensation that workers may request for this reason against the company. This protocol must be elaborated within 10 days from the publication of this Law (June 11th, 2021).
- COVID 19 Compulsory Individual Health Insurance. Additionally, private-sector workers performing face-to-face work must have an individual health insurance at the employer’s expense, which will finance or refund the costs of rehabilitation, hospitalization or death associated with COVID-19. If this insurance is not taken out, the employer will be liable for the amounts that would have been covered by the insurer, notwithstanding the other penalties established. The term for contracting this insurance ranges from 30 to 10 calendar days, depending on whether they are former or newly hired workers.
Since the implementation of these measures is quite brief, we suggest mitigating any contingency in this matter. Our team is available to support you in preparing the return plan appropriate to the reality of each company.
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