A technical note and guidelines have been issued by the Ministry of Economy´s Special Secretariat for Social Security and Labour about the classification of Covid-19 as an occupational disease. To date, there has been some confusion around this issue, which these guidelines seek to resolve. The note confirms that Covid-19 should not automatically be classified as an occupational disease. In each case, the company doctor will need to advise and confirm if the virus is related to the workplace. Before the CAT (the form to be completed when an accident at work or occupational disease is confirmed) is issued, the occupational doctor will have to confirm or, if it is not possible to confirm this, to inform that he suspects that an employee´s Covid-19 is related to work. In such a case, the employer will be required to issue a CAT, but this will not be required in cases where the doctor does not make this finding.
Related to this, the Ministry of Economy´s Special Secretariat for Social Security and Labour has confirmed that there is no legal obligation for employers to update or change their PCMSO (occupational health medical control program) documents to address the fact that Covid-19 may be deemed an occupational disease, nor to insert preventive / protective measures related to Covid-19. This will be based on an individual assessment of each case, and does not alter the PCMSO requirements.