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Everything an employer needs to know about coronavirus

On March 11, the world health organization (who) declared the coronavirus a pandemic. The government of our country has taken measures to prevent the spread of the virus in Russia. What to do if an employee has recently returned from a country where cases of coronavirus have been detected, and how to register the absence of an employee who has been quarantined, we will tell you in the article

What prevention measures should an employer take to prevent employees from Contracting coronavirus

To protect yourself and colleagues from the coronavirus, conduct a preventive conversation with employees. Explain to employees and apply General measures for the prevention of viral diseases:
wash your hands regularly and treat your workplace;
use disposable masks in public places and transport and change them every two to three hours;
refrain from visiting public places: shopping centers, sports and entertainment events, and transport during rush hour;
avoid close contact and staying in the same room with people who have visible signs of SARS: coughing, sneezing, runny nose;
if possible limit close hugs and handshakes when greeting;
contact your doctor immediately if you feel unwell.
Purchase and distribute it to employees:
medical mask;
antiviral drug;
alcohol wipes for office equipment;
antiseptic sprays for surface treatment.
Quartz rooms with special quartz lamps. Keep in mind that you need to do this when people are not in the premises, as there is a risk of getting burned eyes. In offices and meeting rooms, use humidifiers, and ventilate the premises for at least 5-10 minutes every two hours.

Measure the body temperature of employees with thermal imagers in the workplace and suspend employees who have a high temperature. You do not need to get the employee’s consent to take a temperature measurement, even though the information about body temperature is classified as personal data. Since employers measure the temperature of employees to determine the employee’s ability to continue the workflow. At the same time, store the thermal imager indicators for a day, and then destroy them (information from Roskomnadzor dated March 10, 2020).

If you notice that an employee has symptoms of a viral disease or has a fever and it turns out to be elevated, send them home or to a doctor. This way you will not only protect others from the disease, but also help the employee to transfer the disease more easily and return to work faster.

After the sick employee goes home, be sure to ventilate all the rooms in which he was. Distribute alcohol wipes for office equipment to employees to wipe all surfaces that the sick employee has touched.

To comply with prevention measures in your organization, issue an order on introduction of high alert mode in connection with the coronavirus.

Situation: can the organization itself declare a quarantine and send employees to work remotely?

No, it can’t.

Only the Government of the Russian Federation or an Executive authority of a constituent entity of the Russian Federation or a local self-government body can impose a quarantine (article 31 of Federal law No. 52-FZ of March 30, 1999). Therefore, the employer does not have the right to impose a quarantine on its own initiative.

How to suspend an employee from work if they are ill and have a high temperature

As soon as you notice the employee’s symptoms of a viral disease or take a temperature and it is elevated, immediately send them home or immediately to the doctor.

If you just let a sick employee go home, and something happens to them on the way, the incident may be recognized as an accident at work and make the company pay for its consequences. Therefore, to insure yourself, take the employee’s application for leave without pay. If he gets home all right, you will destroy the application. If something happens, issue an order for leave without pay, so you can prove that the incident occurred outside of working hours.

A sick employee should call a doctor at home, and the doctor will issue the employee a sick list. After the employee recovers, they will provide it to you. Assign and calculate the sick pay within 10 calendar days after the employee has provided the sick leave. Pay the benefit on the next day after the appointment, which is set in the organization for payment of wages. This procedure is established in part 1 of article 15 of Law No. 255-FZ of December 29, 2006.

How to send an employee to quarantine due to coronavirus and arrange remote work

Employees who come from China, South Korea, Iran, the United States, all EU countries, Serbia, Albania, great Britain and Northern Ireland, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Andorra, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Vatican, San Marino, Croatia, must remain at home in self-isolation for 14 days from the date of return to Russia. This means that an employee should not go to work or visit public places (decree Of the mayor of Moscow dated March 5, 2020 No. 12-UM).

If your organization is located in another region, then check the territorial decrees, since the leadership of each subject of the Russian Federation must take measures to identify and isolate people with signs of a new coronavirus infection in a timely manner (resolution of the chief sanitary doctor of March 2, 2020 No. 5).

Doctors can also send an employee to quarantine if they have communicated with sick people. Doctors can only send an employee to quarantine on a voluntary basis. If an employee refuses to stay in quarantine, they can only be forcibly forced by a court decision.

An employee who remains at home under quarantine must call a doctor and issue a sick list for the quarantine. After the employee returns from quarantine and provides a sick leave, calculate the benefit in the same way as in the case of illness of the employee (paragraph 1 of article 7 of Federal law No. 255-FZ of December 29, 2006). Pay for such sick leave from the first day at the expense of the FSS (item 3 of article 3, sub-item 3 of item 1 of article 5 of Federal law No. 255-FZ of December 29, 2006). Pay the temporary disability benefit in case of quarantine for the entire period of quarantine (paragraph 6 of article 6 of Federal law No. 255-FZ of December 29, 2006).

If an employee can work remotely from home, then you can not issue a sick leave, and issue the employee temporarily remote work. To do this, you need to sign an additional agreement and issue a transfer order based on it. After the employee’s quarantine ends, return the employee to office work.

To transfer an employee to remote work, sign an additional agreement to the employment contract (article 72, 74 of the labor code). You do not need to terminate an employment contract and enter into a new one. This is explained as follows.

On the one hand, remote workers are considered those who initially signed an employment contract with the condition of remote work. The nature of the work must be indicated in the contract itself. At the same time, the law does not prohibit changing an employment contract that was concluded with an employee earlier (article 72, 74 of the labor code). Therefore, it can include a condition for remote work (article 312.2 of the labor code).

Regardless of who initiates the transfer, make an additional agreement to the employment contract. In it, specify the employee’s place of work, special working and rest hours, and other additional conditions (article 312.2. TC). If the initiative to transfer an employee comes from the employer, notify the employee two months before the transfer (article 74 of the labor code).

Then issue a transfer order using form no. T-5 or a self-developed form. This procedure follows from the instructions approved by Goskomstat resolution No. 1 of 5 January 2004 and the provisions of articles 57, 72, 72.1 and 74 of the Labour code.

If the nature of the work does not allow the employee to work from home and they were not issued a sick list for quarantine, then issue a simple one. To do this, issue an order for the organization about the duration of downtime and its payment. The employee who is subject to the order to introduce downtime, read the order under the signature. Since the downtime is related to a reason that does not depend on the organization and the employee, pay for it in an amount not less than 2/3 of their tariff rate or salary. Such rules are established by part 2 of article 157 of the labor code.

Situation: what should I do if an employee can’t come to work and stays at home with a child, because the quarantine was declared in a kindergarten or school?

If the quarantine is declared in a kindergarten where your employee’s child goes,the employee also has the right to issue a sick leave. Sick leave will be issued if the child is less than seven years old (paragraph 3 of part 1 of article 5 of Federal law No. 225-FZ of December 29, 2006).

If a child is over seven years old and the school has declared a quarantine, then the employee will not be given a sick leave. In this situation, an employee may take an annual leave of absence or leave without pay.

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