Coronavirus: 6 situations having an impact on employees’ work

Are you an employer and are you dealing with prevention against the coronavirus? What measures should you take?

Coronavirus: 6 situations having an impact on employees’ work

Are you an employer and are you dealing with prevention against the coronavirus? What measures should you take?

1. Is the employer obliged to excuse the absence of an employee at work if the employee needs to take care of a child attending a school institution that was closed under emergency precautions?

The employer must excuse the absence of an employee, if it is an employee who takes care of a child younger than 10 years. In such case, the employee is entitled to a childcare allowance as an allowance from the sickness insurance system. If he/she needs to take care of older children, it is appropriate to agree with the employer on absence from work, or consider the possibility of work from home (if the care of the child allows the employee to duly perform his/her work).

2. What is a quarantine? What amount of money will an employee under quarantine receive? And how much will the employer pay?

The quarantine imposed by legal means may be ordered only by a public health protection authority, i.e. regional public health department, or an attending physician (usually following a recommendation by the regional public health department). Pursuant to the resolution on the quarantine, a confirmation on sick leave will be issued to an employee – in such case, it is a temporary sick leave in terms of labour law and the employee is entitled to a salary compensation of 60% of the average salary in the first 14 calendar days, paid by the employer. If the sick leave continues, the employee is entitled to sick benefits paid from the sickness insurance system starting from the 15th day.

3. May the employer order employees to work from home?

For positions where it is technically possible (usually the employees who need only a computer and telephone for their work), it is appropriate to consider work from home. Home office can also be used by the employees who were ordered to stay under quarantine. The quarantine does not necessarily involve incapacity to work and the employee may work from home even if ordered to be under quarantine and receive standard salary instead of compensation for temporary sick leave. However, the employer cannot order the employee to do home office work, the employee must agree to it.

4. May the employer order employees to take vacation to prevent the spread of disease?

The employer may order an employee to take vacation; however, it must notify the employee at least 14 days in advance. This cannot be used as a measure to prevent the spread of disease.

5. May the employer order the employee to refrain from coming to work premises?

The employer may order employees to stay at home and not to work even if they were not ordered to be in a quarantine. In that case, it is an obstacle on the part of the employer and the employee is entitled to salary compensation or salary in its average amount.

6. May the employees refuse to come to work, or may they refuse to do a certain type of work (meetings with clients)? May the employees refuse business trips?

The basic duty of an employee is to personally do the work stipulated by the employment contract and by instructions of the employer. An employee cannot refuse to come to work and cannot refuse a certain type of work (e.g. meetings with clients). However, the employee has the right for safety and protection of health at work and the right to refuse to do the work if he/she reasonably believes that it imminently and significantly presents hazard to his/her life or health. The risk relating to the contagion will, however, hardly reach such intensity, and even if it is so significant as to threaten the health of the employees, quarantine would surely be ordered. An employee who agreed with being sent on business trips in his/her employment contract cannot refuse a business trip. However, if it were a business trip to a region with a declared (including foreign) quarantine, the general consent in the employment contract would likely not be sufficient, and the employee would be entitled to refuse the business trip.

COVID-19: How to effectively mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on your business?

Overview of key steps on Deloitte’s website

Our special website contains an overview of key steps that need to be taken in order to mitigate impacts of the pandemic on the operation of your organisation. It also contains individual advisory with contact details of our professionals who will help you react to specific measures in accordance with the needs of your business. We update the website regularly and add more information.

Up-to date information on dreport.cz
We record additional up-to-date information on our blog in a section dedicated to the coronavirus.

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