COVID 19 | Additional measures for employment protection


Circular 033 of 2020 of  Ministry of Labor

On April 17, 2020, the Ministry of Labor issued Circular 033 of 2020, which sets out additional measures for employment protection, considering that the mandatory isolation measures were extended until 00:00 hours on April 27, 2020.

The additional measures indicated by the Ministry of Labor are the following:

1. Compensable paid leave: It consists on the possibility to agree with the employee on a paid leaves with compensation mechanisms, such as the possibility to work additional hours or shifts after the paid leave, in order to recover the time of the leave.

2. Modification of working hours and salary: Employers and employees may agree to change contractual conditions such as working hours, salary, functions or workload.

It will be possible to apply section 50 of the Labor Code, which allows for the revision of employment agreements, and therefore salary reductions may be agreed upon as long as the legal minimum wage is guaranteed. Under no circumstances may an employee waive his or her labor rights.

3. Modification or suspension of extralegal benefits: The employer and the employee may temporarily agree to suspend the recognition of extralegal benefits. Likewise, the possibility of carrying out transactions in labor matters that do not affect certain and indisputable labor rights is recalled.

4. Agreement on benefits set out in a collective agreement: The Ministry of Labor proposes two scenarios to achieve alternatives for managing the economic crisis, restoring normality and protecting jobs:

  • That employers and unions, as well as non-unionized workers, may develop scenarios for social dialogue that allow the implementation of extra-collective agreements, in order to find solutions for the management of the crisis.
  • To apply Section 480 of the Labor Code which establishes the possibility of revising collective agreements when unpredictable and serious disruptions to economic normaly occur.

The Ministry of Labor reiterates that these measures are additional to those proposed in Circular 021 of March 17, 2020.

For legal issues related to coronavirus, please contact Carolina Camacho at carolina.camacho@phrlegal.com