16th March 2020

Payroll alert - labour context of the ongoing coronavirus epidemic

First of all, we would like to draw attention to the Regulation of the Ministry of Health of 7 March in which the Ministry has ordered all persons with temporary or permanent residence in the Czech Republic who will be returning in the period from 7 March 2020 after staying in Italy to immediately after their return inform their general practitioner of this fact and he will then decide to order their quarantine for 14 days. Nevertheless, this obligation does not apply, for example, to freight transport drivers or aircraft pilots. Likewise, people must go into quarantine after being informed by the relevant public health station that they have come into contact with a patient confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus. The relevant public health protection authority is obliged to provide the employer information about the length and end of this quarantine at the employer’s request. 

Ordered quarantine is an obstacle to work on the part of the employee, so the employer is obliged for the length of the quarantine to provide the employee compensatory time off work. Employees are entitled for the period of the first 14 calendar days to a compensatory wage from the employer of 60% of the reduced average earnings. If the quarantine lasts longer than 14 calendar days the employee is entitled to sickness insurance benefits. If the nature of the work performed so allows, the employer and employee may agree on work from home (so-called home office). In such case the employee is entitled to a full wage and not a compensatory wage, or sickness insurance benefits. In addition, during the quarantine the employer cannot order an employee to take a holiday (leave), however ordered quarantine does not cancel any a holiday started by an employee. The same procedure applies in case an employee is ordered to go into quarantine if staying abroad or has already started a business trip. 

As for other employees ordered to go into quarantine, in order to prevent the further spread and transmission of infection the employer can agree with the employee to work from home, to a change in the schedule of shifts, taking a holiday or granting time off work without a compensatory wage. If the employee and employer do not reach agreement, and the employer, due to concern over the health of the other employees, refuses to assign work to this employee, this will be considered an obstacle to work on the part of the employer for which the employee is entitled to a compensatory wage of average earnings. 

Please be aware that in view of the developments in the last few days, a change concerning the above information cannot be ruled out because of the adoption of further extraordinary easures. We will keep you informed of any changes in connection with the current developments.

Roman Burnus
Head of Global Mobility Services, Grant Thornton
+420 296 152 111

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic