Holiday in coronacrisis: what to do when your worker returns from a holiday?

Leila Mstoian Leila Mstoian
News

September usually means that most employees are back at work. But this year, due to Corona, many workers will have returned from holidays from zones with different possible colours. Of course, as an employer you are concerned about the health and safety of your other employees. So as an employer, what do you do in these specific circumstances?

1. When the worker returns from a red zone

Anyone returning from a red zone is obliged to spend two weeks in quarantine and must be tested by a doctor.

The employee must inform the employer and the employer can (and may) refuse access to the office.

In the event of incapacity for work, the worker is entitled to a guaranteed salary or sickness allowance, on condition that he/she can present a valid medical certificate.

If the worker is not ill, he will receive a "quarantine certificate" from the doctor. This means that he/she is fit for work, but may not come to work. If teleworking is possible, the worker will be paid for the work he/she performed. If working from home is not possible, he/she may be temporarily unemployed due to force majeure. Under no circumstances, the employer can oblige the worker to take a leave of absence (paid or unpaid).



2. When the worker returns from an orange zone

There is no mandatory test or quarantine here, but it is recommended. The employer cannot oblige a worker to take a test (so in this situation the employer can do little about it).

Without a medical certificate, the employer may not refuse the worker access to the office. Refusal of access to the office means refusal of work and the worker can claim damages.

In the interest of health and safety of other colleagues, the employer may ask the worker to be tested for Covid-19. It can always be agreed - only by mutual agreement, so without het obligation of the employer- to telework, again if possible. Under no circumstances, the employer can oblige the worker to take a leave of absence (paid or unpaid).

If the worker shows symptoms of illness or is ill, the employer may send him/her to an employment doctor in the interest of the safety of other workers and the worker may not refuse to do so. If the worker tests positive, he goes on a leave and receives guaranteed pay.

If he/she tests negative, the worker is placed in quarantine and receives a "quarantine certificate" which he hands over to the employer. The employer checks whether teleworking is possible. If teleworking is possible, the worker will be paid for the services he provides, if not, the employer can invoke temporary unemployment due to force majeure as mentioned in the red zone scenario.

3. When the employee returns from a green zone

If your worker returns from a green zone, there is clearly no problem. The worker can resume work in compliance with the measures of Covid-19.

Do not hesitate to contact our experts if you have questions about this matter on +32 (0)2 747 40 07 or info@seeds.law.

Would you like to learn more about this subject?

Contact our experts or telephone +32 (0)2 747 40 07
Leila Mstoian

Leila Mstoian

Partner
Yousra Aberike

Yousra Aberike

Associate