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COVID-19 Executive Decree 78

30/03/2020

Sanitary measures imposed in Panama due to COVID-19

As of March 16, 2020, Executive Decree 78 of March 16, 2020 came into force and effect in Panama, which, in relation to employer-employee relations, it establishes, in summary, the following:

1. Workers who are 60 years of age or older, as well as those who have chronic illnesses and pregnant women, shall take accumulated or advanced vacations for a minimum of 15 calendar days.
2. Article 197-A of the Labor Code regarding labor mobility may be applied by employers to workers who have contact with the general public.
3. Employers can inform their workers of the options to work in teleworking modalities, as defined by Law 126 of February 18, 2020, or work upon is required. Employers can also inform employees about the use of their vacations, for a minimum of 15 calendar days or work permits to which the worker is entitled to, in order to prevent or care for those affected by COVID-19.
4. Workers must abide by the employer’s instructions regarding the options indicated in the previous numeral 3.
5. The employer may make use of the sanctioning rights granted by its Internal Work Regulations against the worker who fails to comply with the above. If the employer does not have Internal Work Regulations, it may impose a suspension for 1 to 3 days without pay, for the non-compliance of the above.

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