We have staff who are or are presumed to be infected by the coronavirus. How should we manage/communicate this information internally?
Information about employees’ health may be secret under Chapter 39, Section 2 of the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act if it can be assumed that it would harm the individual or someone close to them if the information were disclosed. Disclosure of information about an individual’s health therefore depends on individual assessment in each case. An employee can consent to the information being communicated at the workplace.
Is there any possibility of the entire workplace being quarantined? Can we suspend our activities to avoid the spread of infection?
The basic assumption is that activities should be maintained. With regard to decisions on quarantine, isolation and closure, this is not up to the employer; these are matters that are regulated in the Communicable Diseases Act and that the Public Health Agency of Sweden decides on together with infection control doctors.
What can an employer do if an employee appears to be sick but does not personally consider this to be the case, refuses to go on sick leave and instead turns up at the workplace?
Under work environment legislation, employers have an obligation to attempt to prevent the spread of infection at the workplace. However, leave because of a reduced capacity to work due to sickness is a workers’ right and therefore the employer cannot order an employee to go on leave because of sickness. In general, the employer can only urge the employee who appears to the employer to be ill to go on sick leave and go home so as not to infect others. If the employee does not comply with this request, the employer can order the employee to work remotely, if possible, receiving their usual pay. The employer can also temporarily suspend a person, by virtue of the right to direct work. The regulations on pay in this connection are given in Chapter 6, Section 10 of the General Agreements on Pay and Benefits