March 4, 2020
Authored by: Sarah Delon-Bouquet
As the Coronavirus spreads on a worldwide level, employers have started to put into place certain measures group-wide, to limit risks of contagion, such as forbidding travel to certain countries (mainland China, South Korea, Northern Italy, Iran and Singapore) or restricting non-essential travel to certain regions (such as Asia). In addition to these measures, employers may quarantine staff which have returned from a dangerous zone or have been in contact with a contagious person.
What rules would apply during the quarantine?
During the quarantine period, the employer can request employees to work remotely if the nature of their work so justifies and if the employee has tools to do so. Certain companies are now requesting their employees to bring back their laptops home daily so that employees are ready to work remotely if they need to be quarantined urgently.
In France, an employer may impose such remote work to all employees who are able to work remotely to ensure business continuity and the employees’ protection, without obtaining their approval and without any specific formalism (a simple email would suffice), in the event of exceptional circumstances, such as the Coronavirus epidemic.
Remote work may also be envisaged if an employee’s children are prevented from going to school and are put on quarantine. In such a case, employees are required to inform their employer thereof and check if they can work remotely.
Would the employer be required to pay the employee during the quarantine if s/he cannot work remotely?