Author: Nicolás Grandi
On 23 March 2022, the Official Gazette of Argentina published Decree No. 144/2022, which regulated Section 179 of the Employment Contract Law, regarding childcare services to be provided by companies.
Among its provisions, the Decree sets forth that those establishments with 100 or more employees must offer on-site childcare centres for children between 45 days and 3 years of age. This will be applicable to said establishments, regardless of the employment conditions of their employees and extends to both employees of the establishment as well as dependent workers of other companies, providing services at said establishments.
The centres must comply with the regulations related to commercial fit-outs (making interior spaces suitable for occupation) and the licensing laws of each jurisdiction and can be:
- Consortium spaces, for those employers whose establishments are located within the same industrial park, or within a distance of less than 2 kilometers.
- Subcontracted spaces, as long as they comply with the corresponding provisions.
Notwithstanding the aforementioned, the Decree certifies that Collective Bargaining Agreements can stipulate a procedure that would replace this obligation with the payment of a non-remunerative sum of money to the employees, as reimbursement of the costs of care services or of childcare, as long as those costs have been duly justified by way of documentation issued by an authorised institution, or when they originate from the work of personnel registered under the Special Employment Regime for Domestic Employees. In these situations, the reimbursement shall not be less than 40% of the monthly salary of the category of “Assistance and Care of Persons” as provided for in the law regulating the work of domestic employees, or the amount actually spent, if less. In addition, in the case of part-time employment contracts, the reimbursement must be proportional to that of a full-time employee.
Finally, the Decree also states that in circumstances wherein employees are hired under the home office / teleworking modality and for those whose work is linked to the company’s establishment, this obligation can also be fulfilled through the payment of a non-remunerative sum of money, under the conditions previously mentioned.
Key Action Points for Human Resources and In-house Counsel
Companies must comply with the provisions of this Decree as of 23 March 2023; failure to do so will be considered a very serious labour infraction under the terms of Law 25.212.