I'm based in Chile and so far we do not have mandatory quarantine although malls, schools and pretty much everything else is shut down. The country is now under state of catastrophe.

I do have two kids (ages 2 and 9) and few weeks ago my wife was diagnosed with a severe form of anemia that may lead to leukemia if not treated.

The firm I work for is a service provider for a major US bank and therefore I interact with US staff daily - and all of them are homeworking. Other local teams are WFH when is possible but my team is identified as a "critical resource" and there's zero chance of working remotely. The building is pretty empty tough...

I do not feel safe coming to work given the situation of COVID-19, and since my wife is a stay-at-home mom and my kids aren't going to school since last week, I'm the only one with chances of bringing the virus to my house.

I'm a foreigner so I don't know Chilean law that much, but is there any law or protocol from ILO/UN or whatever that grants me the right of not commuting to work if the situation is exceptional, like this one?

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Neo
    Mar 20, 2020 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


The reality is that the worst thing that can happen to you for not showing up for work is that you will get fired. There may be long term consequences of it, like visas expired/not renewed but I won't be getting into those as with all that's going on long-term is very uncertain in very much all aspects.

With that in mind, if you are feeling unsafe to come to the office, explain to your boss that you will not be there on next working day and that you are ready to work from home if possible, but if not, then he can treat it in any way he wants, but ideally as paid/unpaid holiday. Getting fired is a possibility, albeit distant one, and whether it's more important than your and your family's wellbeing only you can decide, as it depends on your savings, situation, ability to get another job.

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