Selected employment law Q&As


The ‘coronavirus crisis’ has companies firmly in its grip. Employers are faced with many employment law questions regarding the handling of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19) and its legal consequences. Although these questions arise in each country, the legal frame-work in the individual countries varies greatly.

In order to give international companies a first impression of this, we have, with the help of our partner law firms, answered the most important employment law questions for Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Slovakia, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Due to the highly dynamic developments, the measures of the countries are subject to constant change. The answers take into account the status on 16 March 2020. If you have any further questions, we would be happy to put you in contact with our partner law firms in the individual jurisdictions.

You can download the complete country report here for free.

The most important questions

1. Prevention measures

  • What prevention measures do employers have to take?
  • Do employers have to provide employees with protective masks, disinfectants or similar?

2. What has to be done if an infection is suspected or confirmed?

  • Do employers have to send employees home with a suspected coronavirus related illness?
  • Must employees who have been in contact with the sick employee also be sent home?
  • Do employers have to report suspected or confirmed cases to the authorities?

3. Right to be released from work or to work from home

  • Do employees have the right to be released from work or to work from home if they fear an increased risk of infection?

4. State support, in particular benefits for short-time work

  • Does state support exist if business activities have to be restricted due to the risk of infection, for example benefits for short-time work?
  • If so, can employers order short-time work or similar?

5. Employer’s right to information about illnesses

  • Do employers have a right to be informed about the reason for the employee’s illness or cases of illness in the employee’s family?

6. Examinations

  • Can the employer order medical examinations/quick tests or temperature scans?

7. Continued payment of remuneration in the event of operational restrictions

  • Are employers obliged to continue to pay remuneration in the event of officially ordered quarantine?
  • Are employers obliged to continue to pay remuneration if the business is temporarily closed down due to an official order?
  • If so, can employers claim reimbursement from the authorities?

8. Childcare

  • Is an employee also obliged to work if schools and childcare facilities have to be closed and their own children have to be looked after?
  • Do employers have to continue to pay remuneration if necessary?

9. Use of leave or flexitime accounts

  • For example, can employers order the use of leave or working time credits or the accumulation of debit hours if employees cannot be employed due to the risk of infection?

10. Business trips

  • Can employees still be sent on business trips to risk areas?
  • Can employees refuse to undertake such business trips?

11. Employee’s private travel

  • Can employers require disclosure of the employee’s private travel destinations?
  • Can employers prohibit/advise against private travel?