The spread of Coronavirus makes it important for companies as well as employees to know about the relevant Greenlandic employment law aspects that may arise in this connection.
What if an employee gets infected, quarantined, or prevented from returning home?
If infected, the employee’s legal position is similar to what applies in any other case of absence due to illness, i.e. the rights and obligations already applicable to absence due to illness under the employment. If the infection is caused by the employee having set aside recommendations from the authorities regarding Coronavirus, this may affect the employee’s right to receive salary during illness. If quarantined or prevented from returning home, such circumstances will also be decisive for the right to receive salary during absence.
Who decides whether the employee must go to work / work from home, go on business trip etc.?
The employer has the managerial authority, and an employee’s breach of the employer’s instructions may lead to consequences under employment law such as dismissal. As a starting point the employee must follow the employer’s instructions regardless of fear of Coronavirus, unless there is a well-founded fear that the employee’s health and safety will be put at risk.
May the employer give notice of holiday when sending home employees?
Notice of holiday to employees must be given in accordance with the rules applicable under the Holiday Act in Greenland. If necessary to the operation of the company, the employer is also entitled to give notice of holiday outside the main holiday period, however depending on the merits of each case. Consequences related to Coronavirus may possibly entitle the employer to give notice of holiday outside the normal main holiday period.
The above are just some examples of the many employment law aspects which the spread of Coronavirus may give rise to.
Nuna Law is ready to provide you with advice in the specific case, among other things with preparation of instructions and policies.