Corona-Virus: Labour related questions

The outbreak of the corona virus is pervasive and raises labor law issues in particular. This article shows the following obligations of the employer and possible measures.

The employer’s duty of care obliges them to take measures to protect their employees. These measures are within the scope of proportionality and are therefore subject to the financially reasonable limits and the technical possibilities. Possible measures are therefore home office, avoidance of physical contact or the provision of protective and disinfectants.

As a further measure, there is the legal possibility of ordering paid vacation, taking into account the needs of the employees. So it may be that the employer has to grant unpaid leave since vacation plans already existed.

In the event that the employer does not take economically viable measures, short-time work can be taken into account in this context. If necessary, you can react with vacation and overtime reduction.

The obligation to continue paying wages in the event of illness or absence also raises questions. If an employee suffers from the Corona virus, he has a right to wages based on his medical certificate. If an employee is put in quarantine due to the infection, it can also be assumed that the employee is entitled to continued payment. Absence of work due to an objective reason such as e.g. officially ordered bans or general travel bans in turn do not lead to a claim to wages. Also the absence of the employee due to fear of infection. Based on a medical certificate, the employee is also entitled to care for his sick children up to three days per case. Furthermore, the employee is entitled to wages for a certain period of time if he has to take care of his child due to school closure. If the reason for the prevention lies with the employer himself and he is unable to accept the employee’s offered service, he falls into arrears and has to pay the wages. In the event of force majeure, especially in temporary situations, there is a tendency to pay the employee’s wages, and in exceptional cases subsequent work may be requested.

Do you have any questions or uncertainties? We would be happy to advise you individually and with reference to the current situation.

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