Argentina Issues New “Work From Home” Rules Effective April 1, 2021

March 31, 2021

In February, Argentina became the latest country to implement work from home, including defining work hours, as well as the responsibility of employers to provide equipment and reimbursements for expenses.  
 
The new changes were adopted on February 5, 2021 and will be effective on April 1.  As Baker McKenzie notes in a summary of the changes, some issues, like employer registration, have yet to be established.  A summary the changes which will be required include:
  • Application:  Does not include companies who have tasks performed in a customer residence or in cases of non-regular work from home arrangements.  

  • Work Hour Definition:  Employees have a right to a work schedule which accommodates for caregiver needs, if applicable, for young children (under 13) or elderly adults.  Furthermore, there must be a set structure on how employees ask for and receive permission to take breaks for personal matters.  A similar regimen must be established if the employee is asked to work longer than the normal work hours.  

  • Work Equipment:  Employers must provide the tools for work and bear the costs, including of installation, maintenance, and repair.  Alternatively, employers must compensate employees for tools they use.  

  • Work Expense Reimbursement:  Employers must compensate employees for expenses incurred because of the work from home, including any marginal increases on existing costs.  

  • Workplace Safety:  Employers must provide recommendations as to workplace safety to employees and may be able to conduct inspections. 
Baker McKenzie has published two labor alerts (available here and here – in Spanish) on the issue and recommend employers adopt “Work From Home” policies and have employees sign them.  
 
HR Policy Global Outlook:  Argentina’s economy is in the tank and many multi-national employers (i.e. Wal-Mart and Nike) have already bailed on the country.  However, if the economy were to return to its former glory, Argentina would be a rich investment opportunity.  Employers with a presence, or considering a presence, should be aware of the work from home requirements which mirror those of other key Latin American economies.