Both Argentina and Colombia recently lifted certain COVID restrictions that will impact employment. In Argentina, employers are no longer required to pay double severance compensation for termination without justified cause. For employers in Colombia, a few decrees have expired in relation to severance fund withdrawals, flexibility of working hours and others.
Argentina: the end of the double severance compensation
In Argentina, employers can terminate employment at any time without justified cause, subject to payment of severance compensation provided by labor laws. However. In December 2019, an urgent decree was issued, in order to offset the negative impact caused by COVID, to double the severance compensation for employees who were dismissed without cause. The decree applies to all types of employment contracts.
With the double severance compensation for dismissal without cause coming to an end on June 30th , employers can terminate an employment contract without having to pay the increased severance payment.
Colombia: a few employment-related decrees expired as the state emergency ended in June
Decree 488 of 2020 in relation to the ability of an employee to withdraw a monthly amount from his/her severance account to compensate for the income reduction has expired.
Decree 770 of 2020 related to the flexibility of working hours and payment of semiannual bonus has expired.
Decree 771 of 2020 related to digital connectivity support has expired.
Importantly, the circular 0041 of 2020, established by the Ministry of Labor regarding work at home and occupational risk entities during COVID, will no longer be effective. Therefore, employers who intend to maintain hybrid schemes should return to and comply with applicable laws and regulations.