On 29 December 2019, the government of Peru issued Emergency Decree No. 044-2019 to improve measures protecting the health and safety of employees. The new regulation mandates employers to provide employees with compulsory life insurance from the start of employment.
The new regulation entered into effect on 2 January 2020.
Prior to this change, employers were mandated to provide employees with compulsory life insurance after four years of service. The emergency Decree was issued following the recent highly publicized deaths of two new employees at a well-known fast food restaurant. Both employees didn’t have life insurance, as they had fewer than four years of service as was previously required and were electrocuted while at work.
To avoid these types of situations in the future, the Emergency Decree amended Article 1 of legislative decree No. 688 to ensure employees are covered by life insurance from the first day of employment.
The insurance policy can be taken out with any insurer. Employers who do not already offer life insurance for new recruits as part of their benefits packages should immediately enroll their new employees in a life insurance policy covering accidental death and total disability. Employers have until 1 January 2021, to provide their new employees with a full life insurance coverage, which would also include natural deaths.
The mandated benefit is 16 monthly salaries if the insured dies from natural causes and the equivalent of 32 monthly salaries if the insured dies or is fully disabled as a result of an accident.
As a competitive matter, most employers have provided life insurance from the start of employment. However, employers who do not provide this benefit should ensure compliance with the new regulation and plan for a cost increase due to the new mandate. The financial impact is not likely very significant for employers as it translates into less than 1% of salary expense.