COVID - 19 

Legal and Regulatory Implications

Labor & Employment

The health crisis caused by COVID - 19 has generated deep and important contingencies from a labor point of view. Many workers cannot comply with their obligations at their workplaces and many functions simply cannot be performed from the workers' private residences. Companies fear that they will not be able to pay workers' compensation and other expenses, and many workers fear that they will not have the main source of their income. As a reaction, the Ministry of Labor and competent authorities have issued Legal Opinions and the Government has promoted bills to try to alleviate the negative effects of the crisis.

For more information on the potential impact of coronavirus on the antitrust issues relevant to your business, please contact your Schwencke contact or contact directly a member of our Labor & Employment team.  

Telecommuting work. Law N. 21.220 published March 26, 2020 in the Official Gazette. Will entry into force April 1st, 2020. Regulates the disconnection time, securities, obligations and agreements done with the employer.

-ORD. N.1239/5 Supplements the doctrine contained in Opinion No. 1116/004, of 06.03.2020, which sets criteria and guidelines on the impact, in labor matters, of the health emergency caused by the Covid-19 virus, in the sense it indicates.

- DICTAMEN N.1283/006 Complements doctrine contained in opinions N ° 1116/004 and N ° 1239/005 that establish criteria and guidelines on the impact, in labor matters, of the health emergency caused by the Covid-19 virus.

-ORD. N.1116/4 Sets criteria and guidelines on the labor impact of a health emergency (Covid-19)

Tax

Under the circumstances of Covid-19 in Chile, specially considering the cash flow of local enterprises, which could be affected by the crises, the Treasury and the Chilean IRS have announced a wide range of measures that would contribute to relief the current companies’ cash stress. Most of the measures consider a postponement on the presentation of several tax return fillings and its subsequent payment and reduced tax rates.
 
Also, the new tax bill in force in the country introduces several amendments to the Income Tax Law that could be used by Corporate Tax Payers under the current Covid-19 emergency.

For more information on the potential impact of coronavirus on tax issues relevant to your business, please contact your Schwencke contact or contact directly a member of our Tax Team.  

Postponement of tax returns billings and tax payment to July 2020.

VAT tax payers with sales under USD11,550 may postpone VAT tax return filling and payment for 3 months. The postponed tax could be paid in 12 monthly installments without any interest rate.

Flexibility in payment agreementswith the General Treasury of the Republic (without any fine or interests) and temporary suspension of judicial collection actions and auction for tax debts.

Public Law

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic. In this context, the Chilean Government took a severe decision: a week later, the State of Constitutional Exception of Catastrophe was declared by the President of the Republic. The main effect of this declaration is to authorize the imposition of severe restrictions on the exercise of constitutional rights, by mere acts and regulations issued by the Administration. In a never-seen-before scenario, the authority eventually imposed night-time curfew for all the territory, lockdown in important areas of the capital city (Santiago) and sanitary customs between regions, among other measures. Consequently, Chilean businesses have suffered severe difficulties in their daily activities and regulatory compliance.

Public Law is key to understand and use these regulations on benefit of citizens and companies.

For more information on the potential impact of coronavirus on public law issues relevant to your business, please contact your Schwencke contact or contact directly a member of our Public Law team.  

For any oficial information on the status of the Plan of Action prepared by the Executive please visit the following link

The General Comptroller has issued several pronunciations regarding telecommuting, regional councils and public services faculties, and online attention.

The Council for Transparency has issued several recommendations regarding privacy, public information, and access to information.

Competition Law

Economic and/or social crises do not automatically set aside the general application and enforcement of antitrust rules. This remains also the overall position in the circumstances of Covid-19. Various antitrust authorities have expressly stated that they will continue to actively monitor business behaviour and take strict action against infringements. Nevertheless, the effects of such crises may lead to adjustments in the application of the competition rules, especialty in relation to necessary and proportional cooperation to provide long-term adverse effects certain sectors of the industry. As such, some authorities have announced that, in certain limited scenarios, they will apply exemptions from, or relaxations of, the rules. 

For more information on the potential impact of coronavirus on the antitrust issues relevant to your business, please contact your Schwencke contact or contact directly a member of our Antitrust and Competition team.  

Exempt Resolution N. 188 25 of march, 2020 detailing the work of the FNE during the national contingency


Agreement N. 20/2020. Telecommuting work at the Court.

Real Estate and Construction

Parties to construction and infrastructure agreements must pay special attention to the impact that the situation created by COVID-19 may have on their specific contractual relations and especially on their ability to perform their obligations in due time and manner. Both the DGOP (Dirección General de Obras Públicas) and the DGC (Dirección General de Concesiones) of the Ministry of Public Works have established adjustments to the execution of contracts due to COVID-19.

For more information on the potential impact of coronavirus on the potential impact of COVID-19 on Infrastructure and Construction relevant to your business, please contact your Schwencke contact or contact directly a member of our Real Estate & Construction team.  

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