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Coronavirus as a cause of work accident

As provided in Article 5 of Royal Decree-Law 6/2020, of the 10th of March, employed or self-employed workers are considered to be in a situation assimilated to an accident at work, only for benefits purposes, being registered in any of the Social Security schemes, are in a period of isolation or contagion by COVID19, provided that it is proven that the performance of their work is the sole cause of the contagion.

Daniel Álvarez de Blas

Date 02/06/2020

As provided in Article 5 of Royal Decree-Law 6/2020, of the 10th of March, employed or self-employed workers are considered to be in a situation assimilated to an accident at work, only for benefits purposes, being registered in any of the Social Security schemes, are in a period of isolation or contagion by COVID19, provided that it is proven that the performance of their work is the sole cause of the contagion. 

If it is proven that the contagion has been contracted solely for the performance of the work, the situation of the worker will be considered for all purposes, not only benefits, such as an accident at work.

Article 9 of Royal Decree-Law 19/2020, of the 26th of May, insists on this but focusing on workers in health or socio-health centres, registered in the corresponding registers, establishing the need for accreditation of contagion by the corresponding occupational risk prevention and occupational health service.

It adds that the benefit derived from an accident at work, in the case of the personnel of health centres and health partners, will be recognised even if the contagion occurs during the month following the end of the state of alarm, provided that the discharge part is issued during that month.

In my opinion, the death of a worker, whether or not a health centre or health partner, due to the spread of coronavirus on the occasion of their work, generates the right to benefits regulated in the Order of 13th of February 1967 (death aid, life pension, temporary widow's benefit, orphan's pension and life pension or temporary subsidy for family members, and lump-sum compensation). 

The difference between the workers in the health centre or health partner and the rest, in addition to the fact that the proof, for the former, that the cause is the coronavirus seems less difficult, is that only in the case of these, the death from coronavirus generates the rights of the work accident during the five years following the contagion, by comparison with situations of absolute permanent disability or the condition of great invalid.

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