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Coronavirus – Nationwide testing of residents - Slovakia

  • Slovakia
  • Coronavirus - Country overview
  • Coronavirus - Workforce issues

06-11-2020

What measures are appropriate on the side of the employer?

Once the nationwide COVID-19 testing of residents, which is planned for 31 October, 1 November, 7 and 8 November, is completed, employees will be able to go to work only with proof of a negative test result. There are several different scenarios for employers after the first weekend of nationwide COVID-19 testing. Every employer should prepare a strategy which will be communicated to employees in advance.

The Employer should answer the following questions:

Will I require employees to submit a negative COVID-19 test result before entering the workplace? And am I, as an employer, authorized to do so?

The Labor Code does not allow employers to request employees´ health information in form of COVID-19 test results. By Resolution of the Government of the Slovak republic no. 693 of 28 October 2020, the Government recommends the Chief Hygienist of the Slovak Republic to issue a decree, by which he will oblige all employers to request proof of a negative COVID-19 test result at the entrance into the operation.

What situations, including tested and non-tested employees, should the employer be prepared for?

Situation no. 1

All employees voluntarily participate in COVID-19 testing. Only a few employees test positive, as a result of which the majority of employees will start working on the Monday after the testing. No further action is needed.

Situation no. 2

All employees voluntarily participate in COVID-19 testing. However, many of them test positive, as result of which they won’t be able work on Monday. For a situation of this kind it is necessary to have a well prepared strategy of substitutability, so that the operation of the business is not endangered and provisions of the Labor Code, including but not limited to working time, are complied with.

Situation no. 3

Some employees refuse to participate in COVID-19 testing and demand to enter the workplace. The employer should not allow such employees to enter the workplace. The employer may agree with the employee to take leave, or consider such absence as a justified obstacle on the side of the employee without compensation of wages or even as an unjustified obstacle to work on the side of the employee.

Situation no. 4

Some of the employees refuse to participate in Covid-19 testing and choose to stay at home in isolation. These employees are not entitled to pandemic sick leave. As well as the prepared strategy of substitutability, it is necessary to come to an agreement with these particular employees whether they will be working from home, taking vacation or unpaid leave, or alternatively compensatory leave, which will have to be made up for later during overtimes. As a last resort, unjustified absence lasting several days in a row is also a reason for immediate termination of employment.