Corona Desk

COVID-19 - Information for employers
Neven Marić | 18.03.2020

Guidelines for employers for the implementation of basic measures

Work organisation – possibilities

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Guidelines for employers for the implementation of basic measures

  • Risk assessment, securing of hygiene at the work place and education of employees, so that they can recognize the symptoms of the corona virus
  • Informing the employees about the steps to be taken, in case they suspect that they made contact with an infected person
  • Securing and making available hand desinfection supplies on the basis of alcohol in the workplace.
  • Reduction of business travel to the minimum and conducting meetings via video links (Skype, TelCo, etc.)
  • Request from employees to let the employer know, if they were at a place of high risk or if they have been in contact with someone, who was at a place of high risk, no matter if they have the symptoms of the virus or not
  • Daily monitoring of information and recommendations given by the responsible regional and national authorities, as well as the latest news published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and timely informing of employees about all important news
  • Links

https://www.hzjz.hr/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Uputa-poslodavcima-i-radnicima-o-postupanju-vezano-uzkoronavirus.pdf

https://www.hzjz.hr/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Dodatne-upute-za-pojedince-kolektive-i-poslodavce.pdf

https://www.hzjz.hr/sluzba-epidemiologija-zarazne-bolesti/koronavirus-najnovije-preporuke/

Work organisation – possibilities

  • Work from a separate workplace (Home Office or similar)
  • Vacation or unpaid leave
  • Temporary incapacity to work due to isolation
  • Continued remuneration in the event of work interruption

Work from a separate workplace (Home Office or similar)

  • The employees home can be seen as a separate workplace or any other place, which is not within the premises of the employer
  • Employment law requires signing a written contract for working at a separate workplace - we recommend signing an appendix to the employment agreement, which defines all the necessary working conditions at the separate workplace, which which have not been defined in the existing employment contract
  • It is possible to conclude this appendix for a limited time, with the indication that it is compiled for the purpose of regulating labour rights and obligations relating to the workplace and solely due to the exceptional circumstances resulting from the corona virus pandemic
  • The employer is obliged to put in place all possible safety measures in order to enable the employee to work safely in a separate workplace - this means that the employer must evaluate the risk of working in a separate workplace
  • In the event that the work carried out in the separate workplace is of administrative nature or requires similar office activities, for which there is a previously measured and documented low risk according to the Regulation for Developing Risk Assessment (NN 112/14, 129/19), and which the employees regularly adhere to at the employer's premises, there is no obligation to measure the risk
  • It is forbidden to issue contracts for work in a separate workplace for activities for which it is not possible to protect the employee from harmful effects using the measures for protection and safety at the workplace
  • The employee must not be prevented from exercising his / her rights to daily, weekly and annual free time while working in a separate workplace

Vacation or leave days

Possibilities:

- Paid vacation (individual or group)

- Unpaid leave

  • The employer is obliged to inform the employee at least 15 days before vacation is taken
  • Since this is an exceptional situation, we recommend the employer to obtain written consent from the employee regarding the proposed time and type of vacation use, with which the employee accepts the vacation dates, even if the legally binding deadline has not been met – while doing so it is necessary to mention that this is due to the new exceptional situation
  • Unpaid leave can only be granted upon application by the employee
  • If there is no request by the employee for unpaid leave, the employer cannot use this legal opportunity to reduce costs

Temporary incapacity to work due to isolation

  • In the case of isolation, the employee can agree with the employer to work from home - if this is not possible, a selected doctor will determine that the employee is currently unable to work
  • In the case of temporary incapacity to work due to isolation, the employee has the right to continued remuneration at the expense of HZZO funds from the first day of exercising the right
  • The HZZO has issued guidelines on the procedure for submitting a continued remuneration claim to persons in isolation: https://www.hzzo.hr/postupak-predavanja-zahtjeva-za-naknaduplace-osiguranika-koji-se-nalaze-u-izolaciji/

Continued remuneration in the event of work interruption

  • The employee has the right to continued remuneration during an employment interruption in case it has occurred due to the fault of the employer, or due to other circumstances for which the employee is not responsible
  • In the case of an interruption by the employer in the current situation caused by the corona virus pandemic, employees are entitled to continued remuneration
  • The employer is not obliged to pay the salary or continued remuneration only in the event of unpaid leave (which requires a written application from the employee) and in the event of temporary incapacity to work due to the isolation of the employee - in which case the continued remuneration is paid from HZZO funds as of the first day of exercising the right

Measures taken by the relevant authorities of the Republic of Croatia to support employers

  • The Government of the Republic of Croatia adopted a resolution on 17.3.2020 on aid measures for the economy (63 measures)
  • The implementation of these measures will be carried out through an emergency procedure through changes in Laws and Subordinate Regulations in the Croatian parliament.
  • The most important suggested measures:

- Postponement of payment of public services by 3 + 3 months (income tax, profit tax, levies);

- 3 month moratorium on existing credit obligations;

- Liquidity loan with interest rates of 0.5 - 1%;

- Reprogramming of existing loan commitments;

- Co-financing of salary costs for employees in the areas most affected by the coronavirus epidemic.

  • The Croatian National Bank is implementing a number of measures to stabilise the exchange rate and ensure Kuna liquidity
  • The adoption if all proposed measures in the Croatian parliament is expected on Thursday, March 19, 2020

Contact us via our support email if you have further questions 0-24: coronadesk@bmwc.hr

about author

Neven Marić

Neven Marić is a Croatian Attorney at Law known for his work in the field of Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, and in Real estate projects.

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