On June 1, 2021, Law No. 21,342 was published, which establishes an occupational health safety protocol for the gradual and safe return to work within the framework of the health alert decreed on the occasion of the Covid-19 disease in the country and other matters indicated. For this purpose, this law is divided into two titles, as follows:
Of the protocols of Occupational Health Safety by the Covid-19.
1. The law provides that while the health alert persists, the employer must implement the modality of telecommuting or teleworking. The above, without reduction of salaries to the extent that the nature of their functions allow it and the worker consents to it
2. Additionally, this law imposes to the employer the obligation to implement the modality of telecommuting or teleworking, in the event that a worker proves to suffer any condition that generates a high risk of infection, or the fact of having under his care any of the persons indicated in the law, within 10 days of notification of the worker’s condition.
3. The law provides that the worker may not be obliged to go to work while the previous obligation is not fulfilled by the employer.
4. On the other hand, the law states that in the event that the functions of the worker are not compatible with the modality of telecommuting or teleworking, the employer will assign them to work that does not require attention to the public or in which the worker avoids permanent contact with third parties.
5. The law provides that within 10 working days from the publication of this regulation, the agencies administering the occupational accident insurance must prepare a standard protocol for their affiliated companies, based on the instructions of the Superintendence of Social Security. At the same time, it is stated that the protocol must contain at least the measures indicated therein.
6. In addition, it is provided that the companies that at the time this law enters into force, are carrying out on-site work activities, must draw up the referred protocol and take the measures foreseen within 10 working days from the publication of this regulation.
7. At the same time, the law provides that companies that do not have a protocol may not resume or continue face-to-face work activities.
8. On the other hand, the law establishes that the companies will not be able to charge workers for the value of the inputs and equipment of the measures adopted.
Compulsory Individual Health Insurance associated with Covid-19
9. The law establishes a mandatory individual insurance in favor of workers who are performing their work in person, which shall provide for compensation in case of natural death due to Covid-19 infection.
10. Thus, according to the law, it will be the obligation of the employer to contract this insurance and provide proof of its contracting to the worker. This insurance may be contracted in any of the authorized insurance companies.
11. The law states that the insurance policy must be contracted by the employer within 30 calendar days from the date the policy is deposited with the Financial Market Commission. However, for workers hired or who return to render on-site services after the deposit, the insurance must be made within 10 calendar days following the start of the worker’s work.
12. According to the law, employers who have not contracted the insurance shall be liable for the payment of the amounts that would have been covered by the insurer, without prejudice to the corresponding penalties under the Labor Code.
13. The law states that the annual value of the policy may not exceed 0.42 UF for each worker.
14. In addition, the law establishes that the insurance will be valid for one year from the date it is contracted and the insurance coverage will be maintained in the event that the labor relationship is terminated, up to the term of the insurance contract.
15. According to the law, if at the end of the term of the policy the health alert is still in force, the employer must contract a new insurance policy or renew the current one.
16. The norms of the present law will be applied during the time the sanitary alert decreed on the occasion of the outbreak of the new Covid-19 is in force.