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Workers cannot close the company: the Inspectorate must act Workers cannot close the company: the Inspectorate must act

| COVID-19 / News | Employment Law and Social Security

Alfredo Aspra analyzes the guide of the Employment Ministry in an article published today by El Economista

Workers cannot unilaterally suspend their company's activity because of the coronavirus. Despite the fact that the guide prepared by the Employment Ministry aims at stopping the activity by decision of the employees, this measure is articulated through Article 21 of the Law on Prevention of Employment Risks, which requires informing the Labor Inspectorate to "annul or ratify", within 24 hours, the decision of the workers.

The article establishes that the workers' representatives or the prevention union representatives can, in fact, agree by majority to stop the activity of the workers affected by such risk. However, the provision requires that such an agreement be communicated "immediately" to the company and to the labour authority - in this case the Labour Inspectorate - which, within 24 hours, will annul or ratify the agreed stoppage. In this way, it will be the Inspectorate that will ultimately decide the extent of the "serious and imminent" risk required by the Labour Guide.

Alfredo Aspra, partner of the Employment area of Andersen Tax & Legal, says that an employment problem has been created where there was none before and that companies are not knowing what to do. "I understand that only the employer and, ultimately, the Inspectorate can stop the activity," he says.

Employment lawyers recommend that the assessment of this risk be made by the health insurance company. Alfredo Aspra emphasizes that a mere suspicion is not justified cause to be absent from the job if the company does not take the measure. In his opinion, the company should carry out a risk assessment, because an unjustified absence could occur and, to an extreme, even leaving the job.

You can read the full article in El Economista.

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