General

  • On March 18, 2020, decrees for the measures of the Economic Response and Relief Plan were submitted to the Legislative Assembly, pending their approval.
  • This includes funding to create the $2 billion Emergency, Recovery and Economic Reconstruction Fund, which will include $50 million for micro and small businesses to create productive capacity and ventures, among other programs.
  • Another $80 million for the agricultural sector aimed at food security and a bonus of $150 million that will be provided to health sector employees, starting in May.

Labor

  • Legislative Decree N° 593, issued on March 14th, 2020 (Declaration of National Emergency) established that neither employees who are being subject to a Covid-19 quarantine, ordered by competent Health authority, nor those who are unable to get back to their workplace due to migratory of sanitary restrictions, can have their employment agreements terminated by their employers or be subject to salary deductions due to their absence. This employment stability guarantee will commence from the moment the quarantine is issued to 3 months after it ends, unless there is just cause for termination. Covid-19 quarantines shall be treated as common illness incapacities and the Salvadoran Institute of Social Security must cover the full subsidy for the quarantine.
  • Trough Executive Decree N° 6 in the Health branch, issued on March 16th, 2020 (Provisions to Mandate the Return of Workers to their Domicile to Keep from Covid-19 Pandemic Contagion, and to Guarantee their Income), established that all workers included in the categories below, must remain in their respective homes and the employer must keep paying their salary, as long as legislative decrees N° 593 (30 days from 03/16/2020), N° 594 (15 days from 03/16/2020) or their extensions remain in force:

a. Persons over 60 years of age.
b. Pregnant women.
c. Persons with chronic renal insufficiency or transplanted.
d. Persons with cancer during treatment with radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
e. Persons with lupus.
f. Persons with diabetes mellitus.
g. Persons with chronic pulmonary illnesses.

  • Through Executive Decree N° 7 in the Health branch, issued on March 16th, 2020 (Suspension of establishments’ operations), it was ordered that the following workplaces must be closed down for 14 days: bars, discotheques, gymnasiums, and other whose purpose is the sale of alcoholic beverages or activities related to entertainment or recreation of any type. Subsequent presidential orders have added to this list: dentist practices (other than emergency cases), textile manufacturing, call centers and malls (only supermarkets, banks and drugstores located in these may remain open).

Tax

  • The Minister of Finance, Nelson Fuentes, announced that, for the tourism industry, the term for the payment of Income Tax for the fiscal year 2019 is extended up to 30 days. This applies to individuals and legal entities in the sector, whose tax to pay is up to US$25,000. Likewise, the payment of the special contribution to tourism of 5% is suspended for three months.
  • The Minister of Finance, Nelson Fuentes, announced that the term for the payment of the Income Tax corresponding to the fiscal year 2019 is extended, up to 30 days. Applicable to all individuals and legal entities who have taxes payable of up to US $5,000. All who must pay Income Tax will be granted up to 8 installments without interest or fines.
  • The Minister of Finance, Nelson Fuentes, announced that, for all individuals and legal entities, the deadline for making the payment on account of the Income Tax for March, April and May is extended. Up to 6 installments will be granted without interest or fines.
  • The Minister of Finance, Nelson Fuentes, established that he will be benefiting from tax exemptions for donations directed to the public sector, aimed at attending to the emergency.
  • The Minister of Finance, Nelson Fuentes, established that he will be benefiting with tax exemptions all
  • donations directed to the public sector, aimed at attending the COVID-19 emergency.
  • All the measures previously described are pending approval by the Legislative Assembly, as part of the Response and Economic Relief Plan.

Regulatory

  • As of March 19, 2020, at 7 p.m., the President of the Republic Nayib Bukele ordered the closure of all the shopping centers in the country, only the bank agencies, supermarkets and pharmacies that are within them will remain open. The closure does not apply to street side convenience centers. The measure will remain for 14 extendable days.
  • As of March 19, 2020, the President of the Republic Nayib Bukele ordered the temporary closure of the commercialization and production “maquilas”, as well as the international call centers, for a period of 15 days. Employees must be sent home with remuneration, companies that do not comply will be fined and closed indefinitely.

Judicial Disputes

  • The Legislative Assembly approved a process waiver to modify Legislative Decree No. 593, referring to the National Emergency Decree, in its article 9, by means of which the procedural terms and deadlines are suspended in judicial and administrative procedures, whatever the matter and instance in which they find. Likewise, the deadlines for holding hearings in the common criminal jurisdiction and specialized jurisdictions in criminal matters are suspended. Only administrative detention, the term for inquiring, and protection measures in matters of family violence will be excluded. Pending approval in plenary of the Legislative Assembly.

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