Today, August 3, 2020, Law 157 of the same date, establishing temporary employment protection measures for companies affected by COVID-19, was promulgated.
The main aspects of this law are the following:
This law applies to companies that closed their operations, totally or partially, from the beginning of the state of national emergency due to COVID-19 and until December 31, 2020.
It also applies for the same period to workers whose contracts have been suspended by tacit or express authorization of the Ministry of Labor and Employment Development.
The employer may restart its economic activity progressively, gradually reinstating its workers with suspended contracts, taking into account the applicable sanitary provisions.
The hiring of new workers in the same or similar position to the suspended workers is prohibited. This hiring is only allowed if the company requires new types of jobs.
Workers who are not reinstated with the reopening of the company will keep their contracts suspended. These suspensions may be extended month to month until December 31, 2020. In these cases, administrative silence will not apply.
The gradual reinstatement of workers may not be used as a measure of retaliation or discrimination against workers.
The employer that has reactivated operations may establish work shifts other than the existing ones, informing the workers at least 48 hours in advance.
All termination of employment contracts by mutual consent must be in writing and the worker who signs it without having at least 2 days to analyze it, may demand its nullity.
Certain clarifications are made about the payments of the Thirteenth Month Pay during the existence of the state of national emergency.
Any termination of employment within 3 months following the reinstatement of the suspended worker requires immediate cancellation and in 1 single payment of the total benefits to which he is entitled.
Contract termination benefits will be calculated with wages from the previous 6 months or the last one before the state of emergency, whichever is more favorable to the worker.
Numerals 8 and 9 of article 199 of the Labor Code on the matter of maternity leave are modified during the state of national emergency.
To read the full text of this law in Spanish you can click here: Law No. 157 of August 3, 2020.
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