Quarantine and leisure leave
Can an employer grant leave to an employee being isolated because of COVID-19? According to the latest guidelines of the Ministry of Labour, this is permitted only if the employee is working remotely during the quarantine.
Labour Code and rules on granting leave
Isolation due to a contagious disease, and thus quarantine or isolation, according to the Labour Code, means work incapacity and interrupts leisure leave. Under articles 165 and 166 of the Labour Code:
- an employer is obliged to grant at a later date the part of the leave not taken inter alia because of isolation due to a contagious disease,
- an employer is obliged to postpone the leave until a later date if an employee cannot start the leave at the agreed date for reasons justifying absence from work, including contagious diseases.
Therefore, an employer cannot grant leisure leave to an employee in quarantine or isolation because of COVID-19, during which the employee is unable to work and receives a benefit for this. However, there is one exception to this situation.
Leave and remote working during quarantine - statement of the Ministry of Economic Development, Labour and Technology
On 31 December 2020, the Ministry of Development, Labour and Technology issued a statement according to which quarantined employees are allowed to perform remote work. Thus, it is possible for these employees to exercise their employee's rights during the period in which they are performing remote work, including those relating to leisure leave, which constitutes for the employee work stoppage.
The Ministry points out that leisure leave is granted to an employee on days that are working days and therefore an employee who provides remote working during quarantine retains the right to take leisure leave.
However, it should be remembered that an employee who performs remote work during quarantine or takes leave during the period in which he or she performs remote work does not cease to be covered by the isolation and restrictions resulting from it.
This standpoint of the Ministry of Labour is consistent with that of the Chief Labour Inspectorate.
Learn more: Specific-task contracts - obligation of notification to ZUS from 2021