5. Managing COVID-19-Related Employee Issues
Management of quarantine, childcare and medical leave for employees affected by COVID-19.
- Employees who are infected with COVID-19 and/or need to be quarantined, need to contact a medical professional by phone, and through a “teleconsultation”, the medical professional will issue a sick leave certificate for the employee.
- With regard to employment law, this situation is treated like any other sick leave.
- In the context of the measures adopted by the Government to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, a specific procedure has been set up to allow parents to take leave for family reasons if they do not have any solution to look after their child(ren) under 4 years old, or aged from 4 up to 13 if it has not been possible to find them a place in a childcare structure for the period from 25 May to 15 July 2020. This special leave is treated as sick leave and the employer is reimbursed 100% by the National Health Fund.
- If the employee is not sick, it is always possible to ask him/her not to come to the office. If telework is not possible the employer would have to grant to this employee extraordinary leave.
Employees who fear infection and refuse to work.
- Employees may not refuse coming to work out of fear, provided the employer has implemented all required health and safety measures. (Article L. 312-1 of the Labour Code).
- However, according to Grand-Ducal regulation from 17 April 2020, in the event of a serious, immediate and unavoidable danger, an employee may leave his/her workstation or the dangerous area without being sanctioned. Any termination on those grounds will be deemed abusive.
- Such behaviour from the employee may however in our view only be acceptable if the employer has not taken the necessary measures in relation with the COVID-19 epidemic to protect the employees and/or if due to specific circumstances the employee was indeed be in a “serious, immediate and unavoidable danger” (for example a business trip in a high risk zone).
- Possible disciplinary measures may thus only be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Disclosure of employees who are infected.
- Employers are not required to notify authorities. In fact, the CNPD, the national commission for the protection of data in Luxembourg, considers that employers must refrain from collecting in a systematic and generalized manner, or through individual inquiries and requests, information relating to possible symptoms or health information presented by an external person or an employee as well as their relatives.
- The CNPD’s guidelines concerning COVID-19 can be found here (in English):
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