Argentina: Employers entitled to require the return to face-to-face work for vaccinated employees

In brief

In view of several controversies that have arisen during the last days, the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security ("Ministry of Labor"), by means of a note, ratified the validity of Joint Resolution No. 4/2021, by which it has established that employers are entitled to summon workers included in the assumptions of exemption from the duty of attendance to face-to-face work if such workers have received at least the first dose of any of the vaccines intended to generate acquired immunity against COVID-19.


In depth 

On 16 March 2020, and within the framework of the mobility restriction measures promulgated as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Labor issued Resolution 207/2020, by means of which it established the suspension of the duty of attendance to the workplace of the following individuals: i) employees over 60 years old, unless they are considered "essential staff"; ii) pregnant employees; and iii) employees included in the risk groups due to pre-existing health conditions.

Notwithstanding the above, on 8 April 2021, the National Ministries of Labor and Health issued Joint Resolution No. 4/2021, by which it determined that employers may be entitled to require the return to face-to-face work of those employees exempted from the duty of attendance who have received at least the first dose of any of the Argentine-authorized vaccines intended to generate acquired immunity against COVID-19 14 days after inoculation. The Joint Resolution also designated that the exception would continue in the case of persons with immunodeficiencies and for oncologic and/or transplanted persons.

Subsequently, through Emergency Decrees (DNU) No. 241/2021 and 287/2021, the National Executive established that the scope of Resolution 207/2020 would be maintained in its entirety, for which reason a discussion arose to determine whether this situation had not implicitly derogated Joint Resolution No. 4/2021.

As a result, on 11 May 2021, the Ministry of Labor issued a note by means of which it has confirmed that Joint Resolution No. 4/2021 has not been repealed by the referred DNU, and it is complemented in a harmonic manner with Resolution 207/2020.

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