COVID-19 in Argentina. Some legal implications for business. Steps to consider
COVID-19 has disrupted business all over the world and Argentina is not the exception, although perhaps more informed and prepared because the outbreak of the virus is reaching our country later than in Asia or Europe. Yet, the business impact is significant and has a wide range of legal projections, some of which we will briefly go through in this post.
The key definition when assessing the potential legal impact of the COVID-19 in Argentina is that of the acts of God or force majeure contained in the Article 1,730 of the Civil and Commercial Code of the Nation (the CCCN). This legal definition deems acts of god and force majeure as those events that could not have been foreseen or that, having been foreseen, could not have been avoided. This definition is further complemented by several other CCCN´s provisions, streamlining the concept of acts of god and force majeure with additional requirements.
If an event or series of events fall into the definition of acts of God or force majeure, the party invoking it may defer, or be released from its duties to perform, without liability.
In the following links, we have briefly covered the effects that the unforeseeable and unavoidable event posed by the COVID-19 may have over labor relationships, contracts, and corporate meetings:
- Is a virus a cause of force majeure for the law? An approach from labor law (https://cspabogados.com.ar/virus-causa-de-fuerza-mayor/. Only available in Spanish);
- What is the effect of a virus on contracts? An approach to force majeure from contract law (https://cspabogados.com.ar/virus-en-los-contratos/ Only available in Spanish);
- Remote meetings in light of emergencies. How companies can avoid being paralyzed? (https://cspabogados.com.ar/asambleas-a-distancia / Only available in Spanish).
A thorough and complete evaluation of the legal status of a wide array of issues may be conducted by the companies. Among other steps to be taken, we may list:
- Evaluate their payrolls, breaking down employees according to seniority and dependent relatives to consider potential work stoppages and lay-offs;
- Review contracts to assess the potential acts of God and force majeure events, and the rights, remedies, and requirements that may be applied;
- Consider whether there are alternative means to perform/satisfy contractual obligations;
- Collect evidence of the efforts carried out and measures taken to try to keep jobs and avoid suspensions and redundancies;
- Collect evidence of the efforts carried out and measures taken to comply with contract terms or to find other means by which to comply; and
- Be up to date on local regulatory actions and restrictions, and public policies implemented in response to COVID-19, to determine the course of action to be followed in each case.
Mario E. Castro Sammartino
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Our publications exclusively express the author´s opinion and do not purport to be legal counsel on any case. Should you need it, you must consult with your trusted lawyer.
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