In light of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the four countries in which Affinitas is present are taking specific actions to mitigate the spread of the corona virus. They also have specific regulations that will impact business operations in each country.

Our member firms have reacted swiftly, are fully operational via remote working arrangements, and are informing clients about these measures and regulatory frameworks to help clients make sense of the risks face and mitigation strategies they can implement. Affinitas will update this dedicated webpage with the information releases and insights issued by our member Firms. The table below provides a short checklist of the most common issues that may arise:

PRACTICE AREAS

JURISDICTIONS

On Wednesday 18th, 2020, the President Mr. Sebastián Piñera, issued new announcements regarding the general measures that the Government will adopt in order to prevent the advance of coronavirus in Chile, which to this day, Thursday 19th, registers 342 infected people. The announcement includes de declaration of an Exceptional Constitutional State of National Catastrophe, which began on Thursday 19th, 2020, for a period of 90 days. Read the full client note here.

Facing the current status regarding the increase of COVID-19 cases in Chile which has made local authorities to decree that Chile is currently under Phase 4 some questions have been presented about the different measures that companies have implemented or could implement.

National authorities have requested to the population to stay at home if they are able to, therefore reducing people circulation in the public transportation and in workplaces. This will have a direct economic and employment impact, which has increased questions regarding who should bear the economic costs of these measures: who should pay the bill?

Read the full article here.

In the context of the worldwide outbreak of the Coronavirus COVID-19, and the recent announcement of the Chilean government to proceed to Phase 4, in Barros & Errázuriz we have been working on a series of measures in order to protect our teams and their families’ health, while assuring our clients the same quality service that characterizes us.

One of said measures includes part of our team doing home office, nevertheless, our offices will still be operating, and at your disposal, in case you have meetings scheduled for the following days. Should you would prefer them to take place virtually, the meetings can be held through video conference, and even via cellphone.

In case of an eventual closure of the offices, or any other type of interruption, we count with the highest technology and systems, in order to assure the confidentiality and integrity of our services, allowing us to be connected remotely and still be able to attend the requests presented to us.

Should you have any doubts or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our Firm. Barros & Errázuriz’ team is constantly keeping up regarding progresses and updates that are being communicated in order to take the corresponding measures given the current situation.

Regarding the outbreak that Coronavirus (COVID-19) has experienced in the last months worldwide, and its recent arrival in our country, a series of questions have arisen regarding the measures that employers and / or workers can take before the suspicion or confirmation of cases of Coronavirus in their work establishments, as well as to the possible decisions and / or measures that the sanitary authority can adopt and that can have repercussions in the labor scope.
Given the previous context, the Barros & Errázuriz Labor team has prepared a document of questions and answers, to address the main concerns they have detected so far.

For more information, we invite you to review the document (Spanish only) here.

Our member firm in Colombia, Gómez-Pinzón, launched a dedicated website offering trustworthy legal information regarding COVID-19, organized by practice area:

During the following days all companies, in compliance with Article 422 of the Commercial Code, must hold the ordinary meeting of the Shareholders and Board of Directors, the latter for those companies that have Board of Directors, to examine the situation of the company, appoint administrators and other officers, determine the economical guidelines of the company, consider the accounts and balance of the previous fiscal year and distribute profits, as applicable.

Upon the declaration by the Ministry of Health in connection with the situation that arose from the COVID-19 virus, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism has issued the Decree 398 of March 13, 2020, through which it is seeking to avoid the reunion of people in ordinary or extraordinary meetings of the corporate bodies, facilitating mechanisms that mitigate the risk of spreading acute respiratory diseases, and has implemented the following measures, which are likewise applicable to Non-profit entities.

Read more here

Considering the situation that the COVID-19 has generated world-wide, and committed as citizens with the preventive measures to protect the health of our collaborators, clients, and suppliers, we have taken the following actions that will allow us to keep working with the same quality and opportunity while offering the best service.

Read more about Gómez-Pinzón’s containment measures here.

On March 24, 2020, an Order was published in Mexico’s Federal Official Gazette in order to determine the period considered as non-business days regarding administrative acts and procedures managed by the SEMARNAT and its administrative agencies (the “Order”).

Any action, request, filing or application submitted before SEMARNAT and its administrative agencies will be in effect until the following first business day, which at this moment, it will be April 20, 2020.

You can download the note here.

In view of the current circumstances in Mexico due to the spread of the new virus COVID-19, and in the absence (to the date) of a declaration of suspension of services issued by the competent authorities, we issue the following informative note in order to clarify the obligations contained in the Mexican Federal Labor Law regarding employees who have a contagious disease, such as COVID-19. You can download the note here.

In Mexico there are certain employer obligations that must be observed when employers face a health contingency. Due to the pandemic influenza A (H1N1), the Mexican Federal Labor Law was amended in order to consider similar public health events that could affect the regular provision of services in the employment relationships.  In this regard, the Mexican Federal Labor Law was amended in order to include, as a cause of collective suspension of employment relationships, the declaration of suspension of work dictated by the health authority, as it is clearly stated in article 427 of such law:

“Article 427.- The following are causes for the temporary suspension of labor relations in a company or establishment: …

VII. The suspension of work or services, declared by the competent health authority, in cases of health contingency. ”

For these reasons, in the event that the Ministry of Health issues the declaration of suspension of work corresponding to COVID-19, the employment relations between employers and employees must be suspended, and employees must refrain from reporting to work during the declaration.

It is important to clarify that although the employment relationship is suspended, employers will have the obligation to provide employees with compensation equivalent to one day of current general minimum wage (MXN$185.56 for the municipalities that are in the border strip of the north of the country and MXN$123.22 for the rest of the country), for each day the suspension lasts, without exceeding one month.

Likewise, in the event that the competent authorities issue a declaration of health contingency, the following may not be used: (i) the work of minors under eighteen years of age, and (ii) the work of women in periods of gestation or lactation, clarifying that the workers who are in this case will not suffer prejudice in their salary, benefits and rights.

In case of doubt or comment, please contact Claudio Jiménez de León.

As a consequence of the spread of Covid-19, on March 15 the Peruvian Government declared a 15-day National State of Emergency, which included a mandatory social distance measure (quarantine) and the lock down of non-essential commerce as well as most of the governmental administrative entities. The National State of Emergency will be in force since March 16 throughout March 30, unless an extension is established by the government. In this context, various regulations regarding compliance of tax obligations have been issued.

You can download the client alert here.

In a one-page summary, our member firm in Peru offers an overview of all key labor regulations being issued as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak.

You can download the client alert here.