Along with the declaration of public emergency through Decree No. 260/2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic declared by the World Health Organization, Decree No. 322/2020 creating the Emergency Assistance Program to Employment and Production was published in the Official Gazette.
The Program consists on the following benefits:
(i) Deferment or reduction of up to 95% of the employers’ social contributions to the Argentine Pension System.
(ii) Allowance compensatory of salary, which will be paid by the government to those workers under an employment relationship in the private sector included in the collective bargaining regime (Law No. 14,250). This allowance benefits companies with more than 100 employees.
(iii) REPRO Assistance due to Sanitary Emergency. It consists on a non-contributive amount with respect to the Argentine Pension System paid by the government to those workers under an employment relationship in the private sector included in the collective bargaining regime (Law No. 14,250). This allowance benefits companies with more than 100 employees.
(iv) Unemployment benefits for those workers included in the regulations of Law No. 24,013 and Law No. 25,371.
Requirements to obtain the benefits described in (i), (ii) and (iii):
(a) Activities strongly affected in relation to the place in which these are developed.
(b) Great amount of employees infected with Covid-19, complying with mandatory isolation, at work leave for being part of a risk group or taking care of relatives infected with Covid-19.
(c) Significant reduction in their sales after 20 March 2020.
Companies that carry out activities and services declared as essential due to the sanitary emergency whose employees were exempted from the “preventive and mandatory isolation” and those who cannot prove a significant reduction in their activities.
In relation to the social security contributions, those complying with the requirements could access to the following benefits:
(1) Deferment of the terms for the payment of the social contributions to the Argentine Pension System.
(2) Reduction of up to 95% of the social contributions to the Argentine Pension System due in April 2020. This benefit will be aimed to those employers with a payroll of less than 60 employees at 29 February 2020. Those companies who have more of 60 employees should promote the crisis preventive proceeding in order to obtain such benefit.
In relation to the Allowance Compensatory of Salary, it will be considered as anticipatory of the payment of the salaries of the affected personnel, having the employers the obligation to pay the remaining balance until its completion. Such balance shall be considered as remuneration for all the legal and agreed purposes. When asking for the benefit, the employer should withhold the amount corresponding to contributions to the Argentina Pension System and health insurance and the contributions to the National Institute of Social Services for Retired and Pensioners. In case the employer suspends the employment benefits, the amount of the allowance will be reduced in a 25% and it can be treated as part of the non-remunerative benefit.
REPRO Assistance due to Sanitary Emergency will consist on a non-remunerative benefit with respect to the Argentine Pension System through the Recovery of the Productivity System of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security between AR$6,000 and AR$10,000.
Finally, the unemployment benefits were increased to a minimum of AR$6,000 and a maximum of AR$10,000.
The provisions of Decree No. 332/2020 published on 1 April 2020 will be applicable with respect to the economic results of the companies between 20 March 2020 and 30 April 2020, being the Executive Power enabled to extend such term.