Coronavirus – labour code

HUMAN RESOURCES, NEWS / 16. 3. 2020
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Dear Clients,

We would like to offer you information that may help you in dealing with the situation.

First, we would like to remind you of the general provisions:

Pursuant to Section 102(1) of Act No. 262/2006 Coll., the Labour Code, the employer is obliged to create a safe and health-safe working environment and working conditions by appropriately organising health and safety at work and by taking measures to avoid risks.

According to Section 106(4) of Act No. 262/2006 Coll., the Labour Code, every employee is obliged to take care, to the best of his or her ability, for his or her own safety, health and the safety and health of natural persons who are directly affected by his or her actions or omissions at work. Knowledge of the basic obligations arising from legal and other regulations and the employer’s requirements to ensure occupational safety and health is an integral and permanent part of the employee’s qualification requirements.

Employers whose employees have not been ordered to be quarantined but have symptoms of respiratory problems, for example, or the employer does not want them to attend the workplace have these options:

1.agree with the employee to work from home (home office cannot be ordered without prior agreement of the employee – unless it is agreed in the agreement between the employer and the employee that the employer can decide when the employee will work from home). Please note that home office has certain pitfalls, in particular in terms of home workplace health and safety compliance or training and also in terms of payment of work-related costs, which should be agreed between the employer and the employee (not in relation to coronavirus, but generally)

2.Notifying the employee not to attend the workplace for a certain period of time – i.e. notifying the employee of obstacles to work on the part of the employer pursuant to Section 208 of the Labour Code, with the understanding that such employee will be entitled to wage compensation equal to 100% of average earnings for the prevention of occupational health and safety risks

3.Taking leave – leave may be ordered 14 days in advance, unless a shorter period has been agreed with the employee. It is of course possible to agree with the employee on the use of leave

4.Unpaid leave – unpaid leave cannot be ordered, but can only be agreed with the employee (which would in fact be more appropriate if the employee did not want to go to work for health reasons)

Employers whose revenues fall or whose business is significantly curtailed or stopped altogether as a result of the measures announced by the state may choose one of the following options:

1.according to Section 209 of the Labour Code, it is also an other impediment to work on the part of the employer if the employer cannot assign work to the employee within the scope of the weekly working hours due to temporary limitations in the sales of its products or limitations in the demand for its services (partial unemployment). If the agreement between the employer and the trade union regulates the amount of the wage compensation payable to the employee, the wage compensation must be at least 60 % of average earnings; if the employer does not have a trade union, the agreement may be replaced by an internal regulation

2.Reduction of working hours – without an agreement with the employee, it is not possible to introduce (or impose) reduced working hours and thus reduce the employees’ remuneration. It is possible to adjust the shift schedule for employees, but as in the case of holidays, the shift schedule must be set at least 14 days in advance unless a shorter period has been or is agreed with the employee. As there is as yet no set time when the measures taken will be revoked, we recommend that it is preferable to adjust the shift pattern (or reduce working hours) now, starting on the 15th day after the notification

3.Taking leave – leave may be ordered 14 days in advance unless a shorter period has been agreed with the employee. It is of course possible to agree with the employee on the use of leave

4.Unpaid leave – unpaid leave cannot be ordered, but can only be agreed with the employee (which would in fact be more appropriate if the employee did not want to go to work for health reasons)

We hope that these recommendations will help you to find a solution that will lead to the satisfaction of both your employees and you as employers. We also remind you that the employer is responsible for the decisions made and should be able to demonstrate that such actions are justified.

On behalf of Jaspar s.r.o.

Ing. Barbora Bodnárová

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