1. Can an employee refuse to get to the offices in the event of fear of Corona-contamination?
This depends on the situation. If there is a justified risk of the employee regarding contamination and the employer has fulfilled its duty of care, the employee has no reason to refuse to get to the offices of the employer.
An employer has to ensure a safe working environment; if there is no reason to believe that the working environment is not safe, the employee can be asked to be present at the offices of the employer.
2. Does an employer still have to pay the salary when an employee affected by the coronavirus cannot perform the agreed work?
If these are employees who are not ill, but are unable to come to work because of a mandatory quarantine, a travel ban or other obstacles created by the coronavirus, the employer will in general have to continue paying the salary. If the employee is ill, the employee will receive the salary as agreed on in the employment agreement or collective employment agreement in the event of illness.
3. When can an employer request partial reduced working hours at the Ministry of Social Affairs?
The Ministry of Social Affairs can honour a request for reduced working hours based on the coronavirus outbreak.
Employers can be compensated based on partial unemployment. The reduced working hours have to be directly linked to the outbreak of the coronavirus and can be granted during 2 up to 24 weeks if the working hours would be 20% lower than before the coronavirus outbreak.
4. Can an employee refuse to travel?
As an employer, you have to provide for a safe working environment regarding professional trips. An employer can check the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the affected areas. If the employee’s refusal to go to a specific area is justified, the employee can refuse to travel.
5. Can the employer impose a travel ban to affected areas?
Not if the employee travels for personal reasons. As employer you can instruct the employee to book a 14-day isolation period after this trip and to work from home.
6. When a family member of the employee is contaminated with the coronavirus, or when day-care for children and/or schools have to close because of the coronavirus, does the employee have a right on (paid) leave?
The employee can be entitled to emergency leave or short term care leave. Emergency leave is meant for short leave due immediate private emergencies (with full pay). For example, the first day when a family member is admitted to a hospital or summoned to quarantine. Short term care leave is meant for employees that have to take care of their children during illness, and the other partner cannot be available. This short term leave is available for a short period and the length of such leave depends on the circumstances. During this short term care leave the employee can remain entitled to 70% of the salary, but additional rules can apply (for example pursuant to a personnel handbook and/or a collective employment agreement).
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