On August 9, 2021, the Department of Labour, by means of ruling N°2003/035, issued a statement on the possibility for the employer to grant cash benefits to the employee – through special bonuses, loans, salary advances or other benefits – during the period in which the employment relationship is suspended by an act of authority or because a temporary suspension agreement has been entered into. Specifically, the ruling states the following:
(i) It is appropriate that during the period of temporary suspension of the employment contract by the sole authority of the law, and the validity of a temporary suspension agreement thereof, the employer grants the workers involved benefits in money or in kind, in order to contribute to supplement the amount not covered by the benefits that they are entitled to receive under the Unemployment Insurance, as long as those benefits are intended to alleviate the consequences derived from such situation and does not imply for the respective workers, the obligation to render services for such cause.
(ii) The inclusion of advances and loans charged to future salaries among the benefits that the employer may grant to its employees during the period of temporary suspension of the effects of their employment contracts is not in accordance with the law.
Should you require additional information on this matter, please contact: Alfred Sherman (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Felipe Ovalle (email@example.com).