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Coronavirus - where do you stand?

If you or your child are infected with coronavirus, the same rules apply to paid time off as for other illness. But what else applies now that restrictions have been lifted and COVID-19 is no longer a socially critical disease?

On 1 August 2021, the coronavirus agreement between Finansforbundet and Finanssektorens Arbejdsgiverforening expired. This is because the restrictions on attendance at the country’s workplaces were lifted in 1 August and COVID-19 is no longer regarded as a socially critical disease.

The termination of the agreement means that we are now returning to normal legal status in terms of absence and child illness.

How we act

In Finansforbundet, we are following the development and are ready to start new negotiations with Finanssektorens Arbejdsgiverforening in the event of a development in the spread of infection during the autumn and winter that puts pressure on Finansforbundet’s members with regard to keeping quarantined healthy children at home.

We encourage you to find solutions in the near future within the framework of the agreements on working from home that many people have entered into.

Questions and answers about coronavirus

Should I inform my employer that my illness is due to Coronavirus?

As a rule, your employer is not entitled to know that you are infected with coronavirus.

However, the consideration of preventing and managing infection with COVID-19 means that in certain cases it may be relevant for your employer to know whether you are infected with COVID-19. For example, this applies if you work with particularly vulnerable people, or if you have stayed less than a metre from colleagues or customers.

Can your employer dismiss you if you do not want to/cannot be vaccinated?

No, in principle your employer cannot dismiss you because of a lack of vaccination.

However, there may be special cases where it may be appropriate to dismiss you. For example, this applies if you are unable to carry out your work because you have to travel to countries that require vaccination as a significant part of your work. In these cases, your employer should try to relocate you so that you no longer have travel activity to those countries, but if this is not possible, it may be appropriate to dismiss you.

Does your employer have a right to know if you have been vaccinated?

No, your employer may not ask you if you have been vaccinated, as the information is health information.

Your employer is only entitled to know if you have been vaccinated if there is an objective reason for this. For example, this may be the case if you cannot carry out your work without proof that you have been vaccinated.

Are you in quarantine at home but not ill?

You are legally considered to be absent from work as this is a force majeure situation where it is not possible for you to attend work for reasons that are no fault of your own. Your employer cannot therefore regard your absence as unlawful absence or dismiss or suspend you for not attending work.

If the health authorities have recommended home quarantine, you are also entitled to salary during the quarantine, as it is treated the same as illness. To the extent possible, you must offer to perform your work from home in this situation.

If your employer has dismissed you without the involvement of the authorities, you are entitled to receive salary during your quarantine. To the extent possible, you must offer to perform your work from home.

Can you refuse to work from home?

If you are in quarantine at home on the basis of recommendations by the authorities or your employer has dismissed you on his or her own initiative, you are obliged to offer to work from home, as long as this is generally possible in terms of your job function.

Your employer is responsible for ensuring that the work can be performed in accordance with Finansforbundet and Finanssektorens Arbejdsgiverforeningen’s (FA)

Framework agreement for telework and work environment legislation in general (PDF) (Danish).

What if I am planning a holiday?

If you are planning a holiday, you should follow the travel instructions laid down by the Danish authorities, as well as the instructions laid down by the authorities of the country you are planning to travel to. If you choose to travel to an area that the authorities have advised against and this results in you being prevented from attending work after your holiday, e.g. if you are put in quarantine at your destination or the flights to and from the country are cancelled, your employer may be entitled to dismiss you for unlawful absence.

Can my employer impose a 14-day home quarantine without salary if I return from a country where the health authorities do not recommend home quarantine?

No, your employer will not be able to do so because you have followed the authorities’ instructions, and your employer must therefore pay your salary if they ask you to stay at home.

Can you refuse to go to work for fear of being infected?

You will generally not be able to refuse attending work. Only your employer or the authorities can decide whether you attend work or not.

If there are specific conditions that make you feel insecure at the workplace, we urge you to talk to your employer about how this can be resolved, possibly by you working from home.

What is your position if your children are sent home from day care or nursery with suspicion of corona?

If your child is ill, you are entitled to absence with salary for taking care of sick children for five days or for the number of days specified in your collective agreement or employment contract. If your child must stay home for more than five days, we recommend that you have a dialogue with your employer about the possibility of working at home for the other days. 

If your child has been sent home but is not ill, you must agree on further terms for absence with your employer. You are entitled to stay home and take care of your children if you have no other option for childcare, so you can have a dialogue with your employer about the possibility of working from home during the absence.

Many companies have entered agreements for increased opportunities for working from home, and you can make use of those agreements in this situation. If it is not possible to work from home, your absence can be arranged as days off in lieu, holiday days or dependants’ leave.

What is your position if your child’s school or institution is temporarily closed?

You are entitled to stay home and take care of your children if you have no other option for childcare. You can have a dialogue with your employer on the opportunity to work at home during the absence. 

Many companies have entered agreements for increased opportunities for working from home, and you can make use of those agreements in this situation. If it is not possible to work from home, your absence can be arranged as days off in lieu, holiday days or dependants’ leave.

What is your situation if you are in a particular risk group and you feel unsafe about going to work?

If you feel unsafe, consult your doctor and discuss what it is that makes you feel unsafe about going to work. If the doctor assesses that your health is at risk by going to work, contact your employer and see if you can find a solution to remove the risk - e.g. by working from home, being removed from a workplace where you have a lot of person-to-person contact, or something else.

You are entitled to stay home if a situation where you can perform your work without risk to your health cannot be created. If your employer disagrees with this assessment however, there is a risk that your employer will not pay your salary, and in serious cases, you will be dismissed or suspended. If you cannot reach an agreement with your employer, you should contact Finansforbundet before leaving the workplace.

What is your situation if your child is in a particular risk group and you feel unsafe about going to work?

The answer is presumably the same as above, as if you were in a particular risk group, but is currently unresolved.

Should you report corona as an industrial injury?

We recommend that you report corona as an industrial injury if you have been infected at work. This is true even if you have not had a serious case or noticed any later complications.

You must report an industrial injury no later than one year after the injury has occurred. If you only experience later complications after this deadline and report the injury at this time, it may be difficult to meet the burden of proof that there is a connection between your infection with corona and the problems you are experiencing. You therefore risk the illness not being recognised as an industrial injury.

Corona can be recognised as an industrial injury (as an occupational accident or disease) and you may be entitled to compensation if:

  • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • This is a specific incident or impact within five days in the form of a proven risk of infection at your work
  • There is a probable link between the risk of infection and the fact that you have been infected with COVID-19

You should be aware that you must be able to meet the burden of proof yourself if you are to have infection with COVID-19 recognised as an industrial injury.

How to report an industrial injury

If you want to report later complications after COVID-19:

  • Your employer must report the case to Arbejdsmarkedets Erhvervssikring (Labour Market Insurance)
  • The doctor who is treating you must report the case to Arbejdsmarkedets Erhvervssikring, or you must go to AES.dk and fill out a notification form yourself