COVID-19: Information on employment law - exceptional and temporary measures

Date published

18/03/2020

Locations

The government has approved a set of temporary and exceptional measures for citizens, businesses, public and private entities and professionals related to epidemiological infection SARS-CoV-2 and coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In this notice we will make references to situations that we consider most relevant regarding workers who are temporarily prevented from performing their professional activity, due to the danger of contagion by COVID-19, which are:

  • Absenteeism
  • Telecommuting

Worker absenteeism

Worker absenteeism may be framed in three regimes, corresponding to two different situations:

  • Situations determined by the closure of schools;
  • Situations determined by prophylactic isolation;
  • Situations where the worker is infected.

In both these sections we shall deal with each of these situations, which have distinct regimes.

Determined by the closure of schools

The special arrangements for parents of children under 12 years

Absences by workers that have children under 12 years of age and have to stay home to monitor them are deemed justified absences.

This regime is in force only:

  • During the period that does not coincide with school holidays.
  • If telecommuting is not possible.

Note that during school holidays the general absence system continues to apply.

It is important to bear in mind that:

  1. Remuneration during the period of absence is not full. The worker is entitled to receive the amount corresponding to 66% of their basic salary, with a minimum of € 635.00 and a maximum of € 1905.00.
  2. For absences to be justified and paid, the worker must inform their employer of the reason for absence through an appropriate form provided by Social Security on its website.
  3. The cost with remuneration is borne in equal parts by the employer and Social Security.
  4. Payment of the remuneration to the worker is by the employer, who will later settle accounts with Social Security.
  5. Later the employer must ask Social Security for the latter’s part and for that it is essential that it has the form – declaration referred to in 2, signed by the worker.

Telecommuting arrangements at the workers’ request

In general the provision of telecommuting service is determined by the employer. Under the measures now in force, the scheme can also be requested by workers.

Service delivery in telecommuting may be required by workers:

  • During the closure of their children’s schools.
  • When the performance of work is compatible for the tasks they perform.

Workers in prophylactic isolation

There are two possible situations:

  • Prophylactic isolation with the possibility of telecommuting.
  • Prophylactic isolation without the possibility of telecommuting.

A worker that can continue to work by telecommuting does not lose the right to compensation paid by the employer, even if in a situation of isolation ordered by the competent health authority.

When telecommuting is not possible the absence is equivalent to sick leave with worker admission. The latter must directly procure sick pay leave paid by Social Security, which, in principle, they are granted...

Worker infected with COVID-19

The infected worker will be temporarily unable to work as a result of the disease; the general scheme of temporary inability to work applies and the absence is considered justified by disease.

Telecommuting

Telecommuting can be determined unilaterally by the employer or required by the worker, with no need for agreement, as long as it is compatible with the duties performed.

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