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COVID-19: Chile’s New Law Extends Benefits for Some Parents

On July 27, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chile enacted legislation for parents on parental leave and for parents and caregivers of children born in or after 2013 (i.e., seven years of age or younger). Specifically, the law (i) provides parents with an extension of up to 90 days of additional parental leave benefits and (ii) allows eligible parents and caregivers to suspend their employment contract with employers in order to provide childcare and receive unemployment benefits.

Parental Leave Extension Due to COVID-19

Benefit Duration and Eligibility: The law allows employees whose parental leave expired between March 18, 2020 and July 27, 2020 (i.e., the law’s effective date), to extend their parental leave for an initial 30-day period. Thereafter, employees may extend their leave two times (i.e., for a maximum of 90 days), provided that Chile remains in a constitutional state of emergency because of COVID-19 and the law has not been repealed.

Benefit Payments: During the extended leave, eligible employees will receive the same amount of paid parental leave benefits that they received during their initial period of parental leave. The leave is paid either by a private insurer (i.e., las Instituciones de Salud Previsional (“ISAPREs”)) or, if not insured by ISAPRE, through Chile’s national health care system, el Fondo Nacional de Salud (“FONASA”). If both parents made use of the parental leave, one parent (but not both) may apply for the extension of benefits; the mother decides who will take the extended leave.

Suspending the Employment Contract Due to COVID-19 Childcare Obligations

Benefit Duration and Eligibility: The law permits eligible parents and caregivers who wish to be enrolled in unemployment insurance (and are not, for example, eligible for parental leave) to request a suspension of their employment contracts in order to (i) receive unemployment benefits and (ii) care for their child(ren). According to the law, an employee’s option to suspend an employment contract will continue as long as a child’s daycare, kindergarten or school remains closed due to COVID-19. Only one individual per household may receive this benefit.

Application Process: The law requires employees to submit an application for benefits to their employer, which the employer then must submit to the administrator of unemployment benefits in Chile, la Sociedad Administradora de Fondos de Cesantía de Chile (“AFC”). The AFC then will determine whether the employee is eligible for benefits.

Employer Requirements: The law requires employers to continue making social security and pension contributions on behalf of employees whose contracts have been suspended. In addition, employers may not terminate employees who are eligible for this benefit but choose not to apply if such employees take time off to care for a child aged seven years or younger.

©2020 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 226

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About this Author

Erika C. Collins Employment, Labor & Workforce Management Epstein Becker & Green New York, NY
Member of the Firm

ERIKA C. COLLINS is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. She works with multinational public and private companies on complex international employment and human resources matters, with a particular focus on navigating cross-border legal and cultural differences.

Known for her knowledge and work around the globe, Ms. Collins’s experience includes:

  • Advising companies when they are expanding or downsizing throughout the world, including...

212-351-5570
Ryan H. Hutzler Employment, Labor & Workforce Management Epstein Becker & Green Washington, DC
Associate

RYAN H. HUTZLER is an Associate in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green. He works with multinational public and private companies from a wide range of industries—such as energy, financial services, health care, media, pharmaceuticals, and technology, among others—on international employment and human resources matters, including those focusing on cross-border legal and cultural differences.

Mr. Hutzler’s experience includes:

  • Providing strategic advice and counseling to domestic and multinational employers across industries on a wide range of employment law and related matters, such as hiring and termination, reductions in force, disciplinary actions, disability issues, wage and hour compliance,  restrictive covenants, diversity and inclusion, internal training programs, and global mobility
  • Drafting global employment policies, executive contracts, separation agreements, restrictive covenants, and employee handbooks
  • Performing employment-related due diligence on mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions
  • Conducting internal investigations into harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment claims
  • Defending clients against employment and labor-related litigation with respect to wage and hour, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, defamation, and tortious interference disputes

Before joining Epstein Becker Green, Mr. Hutzler was an attorney in the Employment & Labor practice of an international law firm. Earlier in his professional career, he served as a Program Manager at an international internship provider in Beijing, China, and then as a Law Clerk in the Law Department of a passenger railroad service, advising clients on employment and other matters.

As a law student, Mr. Hutzler was a Member of both The George Washington Law Review and The George Washington University Law School Moot Court Board.

Mr. Hutzler is a published author and a past guest lecturer for the Society for American Baseball Research.

202-861-1834
Alexandra Bruno Carlo, New York, Epstein Becker, Labor Litigation Lawyer,
Associate

ALEXANDRA BRUNO CARLO is an Associate in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green.

Ms. Bruno Carlo:

  • Advises clients on various labor and employment law topics, including antidiscrimination policies; the impact of misclassification of independent contractors; laws pertaining to parental leaves, sick leaves, and family leaves; ADEA compliance; and FMLA compliance

  • Counsels employers on practices...

212-351-3702
Eduardo Quiroga Law Clerk Epstein Becker Green
Law Clerk

EDUARDO J. QUIROGA* is a Law Clerk – Admission Pending – in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. He will be focusing his practice on employment litigation and wage and hour, trade secret, and employee mobility issues.

Prior to joining Epstein Becker Green, Mr. Quiroga worked as a Paralegal in the New York City branch of a property services labor union, where, among other things, he communicated with various government agencies regarding claim dismissals, conducted investigations in connection with...

212-351-3766