Coronavirus from the Czech Labour law perspective
Considering the highly spreading Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infection, causing the disease COVID-19, it is important to know what are the responsibilities and rights for a Czech employer or Czech employee under these extreme circumstances.
First of all, if for any reason the employer or the employee are afraid of the virus as they might have some symptoms or were in contact with a person in risk, it is possible to agree with the employer for working from home, but the employee has to be aware that the employment contract does not have to include the possibility of home office. In that case it is necessary to conclude a written amendment to the contract. On the other hand, if the employer ceases to assign work to the employee because of an obstacle to work from employer´s point of view the employee is entitled to a wage compensation equal to the average earnings according to § 208 of the Czech Labour law no. 262/2000 coll.
Secondly, if an employee is diagnosed with coronavirus or if he/she is after returning from vacation, business meeting or a trip from most affected areas, he will have to undergo quarantine. The length of quarantine in the first case will last until he is cured. Special emergency measure on the subject of Italy was issued by Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch on 7th March 2020. According to the section § 192 of the Labour Code, such an employee is entitled for a compensation of wages in the amount of 60% of his average earnings for the period of the first 14 calendar days of his leave. The employer is obliged to excuse his absence from work and cannot order the employee to take a leave for the duration of the quarantine.
Furthermore, the same procedure must be followed if the employee is ordered to be quarantined abroad. However, if the employee is instructed to the quarantine for the duration of his vacation, the vacation itself is not interrupted.
All things considered, by this date there are many infected individuals in the Czech Republic, and it is very difficult to estimate how the situation is going to develop. For new information’s please check websites of the Ministry of Interior (link: https://www.mvcr.cz/mvcren/) , Ministry of Health (link: https://www.mzcr.cz/Cizinci/ )and State Health Institute (link: http://www.szu.cz/index.php?lang=2).
For more information on this subject, please feel free to contact:
JUDr. Monika Rutland, partner
rutland & partners, law firm
tel: +420 226 226 026