As explained before, by means of Decrees No. 329/2020 and 487/2020, suspensions due to force majeure or for lack or reduction of work are forbidden until July 28, 2020 (inclusive). The only options available by the Decree are the suspensions of personnel for economic causes under Section 223 bis of the NEL.
Regarding the last point, on April 29, 2020, the MTEySS issued Resolution No. 397/2020. The Resolution establishes some aspects regarding the approval from the MTEySS for the Suspensions for economic causes mentioned above, taking into account the parameters established by the Agreement executed between the General Labor Confederation (Confederación General del Trabajo – “CGT”), and the Argentine Industrial Union (Unión Industrial Argentina – “UIA”). In addition, on June 8, 2020, Resolution No. 475/2020, issued by the MTEySS, established that the provisions of the prior Resolution (No. 397/2020) will be valid for other 60 days.
Below, the main aspects of the Resolution:
1) It establishes the approval procedure to be followed (prior legality control) for the submission of agreements regarding the Suspensions, executed by unions with legal recognition and companies.
2) The requirements that must be complied with are:
a. The agreement must be executed only regarding those employees who may not render services from their isolation place. Therefore, the Suspensions may not be applied for the following employees: i) those who have established with their employers the working conditions in order to render services from their isolation place; ii) those employees who are exempted from the duty to attend to their workplace (pregnant employees, employees who are 60 years old or more, and employees included in risk groups);
b. A list with the affected personnel must be submitted;
c. The Suspensions’ term must not be longer than 60 days as of April 1, 2020 (that is, until May 31, 2020);
d. The amount of the non-compensation amount paid to the suspended employees may not be less than the 75% of the salary that they would have received if they rendered services in a normal way;
e. Over the amount mentioned in point “d”, the corresponding withholdings and contributions to the Health Insurance and to the National Health System must be done, and the payment of union fees;
f. If the company receives the benefit of the “Complementary Salary” (within the framework of the Emergency Assistance Program for Employment and Production (Programa de Asistencia al Trabajo y la Producción – “ATP”), the amount of the “Complementary Salary” must be included in the non-compensation allowance paid to the suspended employees;
g. The application of the Suspensions by the employer may be ordered simultaneously, alternately, rotating, total or partial, according to their respective productive realities;
h. Employers who apply this agreement must not alter their employees’ payroll during its term (they may not terminate employees);
i. The agreement will not apply to those parties who have already agreed or will agree other suspension criteria.
3) All the agreements entered into by and between the union with legal recognition and the Companies that regulate the application of the Suspensions and comply with the requirements mentioned in point 2, will be approved by the MTEySS after the relevant legality control. The same applies for those agreements that are more beneficial to employees.
4) Agreements of Suspensions that comply with the requirements mentioned in point 2 but are filed only by the employer, will be sent to the union with legal recognition for a period of three days, and may be extended for an additional two days at the request of the union. Upon expiration of the term, if the union remains silent, the suggested agreement filed by the employer will be deemed to be accepted. In case the union rejects the terms of the agreement, an instance of dialogue and negotiation will be opened between both parties.
5) If the agreements do not meet the requirements mentioned in point 2, they will be subject to prior control by the MTEySS, and in each case, the corresponding considerations will be indicated.
6) In all cases, the parties submit an affidavit regarding the authenticity of the signatures contained in the agreements.
On June 8, 2020, Resolution No. 475/2020 issued by the MTEySS, established that the approval procedure to be followed (prior legality control) for the submission of agreements regarding the suspensions for economic causes (specified in Resolution No. 397/2020 of the MTEySS, mentioned before) will be valid for other 60 days.
In conclusion, as suspensions are forbidden, there are not consequences such as a notable increase in benefit fraud as a result of employees, or the self-employed.