Four Measures Employers are Adopting Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Governments have embraced measures to manage the spread of COVID-19 in their countries. These measures have unprecedented effects on employers and employees that have been making adjustments to the rapidly changing situation the pandemic has triggered. The measures that employers are adopting are governed by labor law.

Businesses and employers are experiencing serious challenges amid the current economic crises. Such problems are being aggravated by the spread of the deadly virus. Employers can mitigate the risks by taking various measures that have significantly impacted employees. These include the following:

Remote Working

Remote working allows businesses to maintain productivity and ensure their business activities continue. But, a shift to remote working also brings problems that might impact efficiency. Governments have not issued guidelines or regulations to facilitate remote working and determine management mechanisms. And with the lack of regulations regarding the rights and obligations of employers and employees, the former will retain the rights and obligations under their current employment agreement.

Requiring Employees to Use their Annual Leave with Pay

A lot of employers may require their employees to take their paid annual leaves if business activity is low. The labor law provisions on annual leave are mandatory. Typically, annual leave is granted upon the request of the employee. But, an employer may initiate an employee’s annual leave at their discretion.

Forcing Employees to Take Unpaid Leave

The labor law provides for at least 15 days of annual leave with full pay. Both employers and employees may agree on extra leave with reduced or no pay. Generally, these measures are regulated in the employment contract, internal employment regulations, or work schedules.  But, as evidence of the arrangement, a written agreement by the employee must be available.

Reducing Working Hours and Salaries

Business hours and associated salaries are set out in the employment contract in accordance with the labor law.  Any change in the terms that impact the working hours and salary of an employee often requires the consent of all parties that agreed to the employment contract.