Chile: Labour Department issues Clarification on COVID-19 Sanitary Emergency Measures
On 1 April 2021, the Labour Department, through rulings 1189/011 and 1190/012, provided companies with additional information to consider relating to the sanitary emergency due to COVID-19.
On the one hand, ruling 1189/011 informed that it is entirely acceptable for employers to require their employees to take the PCR test, as a suitable mechanism for the prevention and control of COVID-19 infection, provided that (i) the economic cost should be assumed by employers; (ii) the test application does not constitute discriminatory conduct; and (iii) that it does not violate the fundamental rights of employees.
Next, ruling 1190/012 provided further clarification on the fact that where the parent company obtains the collective displacement permits (due to the pandemic) for the employees of its subcontractors or contractors (when permitted), this does not, in itself, allow for a conclusion that there is an employment relationship between the parent company and those employees. This is because the request for such permits does not emanate from the will of the parent company requesting the permit, but on the contrary, it is a requirement of the authority to protect the health of employees in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.