5. Managing COVID-19-Related Employee Issues
- Employees that are quarantined are self-isolating for mandatory legal reasons or have tested positive for COVID-19 all benefit from paid sick leave. During this time their individual employment agreement is suspended and they receive an indemnity of 75% of their salary. For the initial 3/5 days the indemnity is paid by the employer, the rest is paid by the national health fund. Since all positive cases are admitted to hospitals, employees will not benefit from sick leave for childcare as they would for any other medical condition of the child (the child will be in hospital and the parent will not be allowed to stay with the child).
- Employees can express their concern on specific health risks and the employer should analyse those claims however the employee cannot legally refuse to work based on these concerns. If the employee does not perform their activity they are not entitled to their salary and most employers have internal regulations stating that after a certain number of days of absence the employee can be dismissed for disciplinary reasons.
- If an employee tests positive the authorities will notify the employer of the positive result in order for the employer to take all the mandatory actions required, including notifying all other employees that were in close contact with the employee that tested positive. The identity of the employee that tested positive will not be disclosed to other employees that were not in close contact for confidentiality reasons.
- Parents were entitled to paid time off in order to care for their children under the age of 12 years during the school year, because all schools were closed from the 12th of March. The parent that was granted paid time off received an indemnity of 75% of their salary but no more than 75% of the average daily salary. The school year ends on the 12th of June and after that the parents will not be granted paid time off.