The sanitary inspector may oblige the employee to undergo quarantine or home isolation. How many days do you have to spend at home? Can I work during quarantine? What remuneration or benefit is the employee entitled to? We explain.
Quarantine after returning from abroad is the most talked about. However, not everyone is wondering what to do if someone at work has the coronavirus. In this case, the sanitary inspector has the option of sending the employee to quarantine or home isolation.
When can an employee be quarantined?
If an employee is sick with coronavirus or is suspected of being infected, has symptoms of coronavirus, has had contact with an infected or possibly infected person, or has crossed the border with the EU, the state sanitary inspector, as well as the state border sanitary inspector may issue a decision on quarantine or isolation.
The sanitary inspector may impose the obligation to undergo quarantine on:
- a healthy person who had contact with a person infected with coronavirus or suspected of being infected
- a person living with a person placed into quarantine or home isolation
- a person with symptoms indicating the possibility of coronavirus infection
- a person who crossed the border with the European Union
– Quarantine is mandatory for people who have had contact with an infected person. When conducting an epidemiological interview with an infected person, PSSE employee determines the group of people who must be quarantined – explains Wiesława Kostuj from the Provincial Sanitary and Epidemiological Station in Poznań.
When can a worker be isolated?
In addition, the general practitioner may refer the patient to home isolation. It is possible thanks to the Regulation of the Minister of Health of October 8, 2020 on the standard of organizational health care for a patient suspected of being infected or infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus, which was published on October 8 in the Journal of Laws.
– Home isolation is referred by the GP after a positive coronavirus test result. In the current situation, when the number of infections is increasing, it can be speculated that doctors will send more people to isolation after a positive result – admits Wiesława Kostuj.
Due to its duration, home isolation or quarantine with a person under home isolation is the most burdensome for the worker. A quarantined employee may return to work after 10 days, and in justified cases, after taking a coronavirus test and obtaining a negative result, even after day 7. (The possibility of shortening the quarantine is allowed, among others, in the case of doctors and nurses.) On the other hand, isolation due to illness and quarantine of cohabitants take much longer.
– Quarantine takes place together with people who live or manage them together. Quarantine of a person living with an isolated person lasts until the infected person finishes isolation (we are constantly exposed to the disease during the isolation of the co-resident) and 10 days from the last day of contact (the last day of isolation of the sick person) – emphasizes Wiesława Kostuj.
Can I work in quarantine?
As a rule, information about the need to undergo quarantine is provided orally or by phone. The sanitary inspector’s decision is also sent by post. This decision is binding. You should immediately inform your supervisor about it.
Staying in quarantine does not have to stop your work. An employee without symptoms of the coronavirus may continue to perform his duties if the employer gives him an official order to work remotely. Home office is possible in the place where the quarantine is held, provided that the employee’s home conditions allow it. However, it is the employer who should provide equipment for remote work, e.g. a laptop and a telephone. An employee who continues to work during quarantine retains the right to 100% of the remuneration.
How many days is quarantine?
From September 2, 2020, people in quarantine without symptoms of the coronavirus are released from quarantine after 10 days (initially the quarantine period was 14 days with the possibility of extending it to 21 days). Asymptomatic people after quarantine do not need to test for COVID-19. During quarantine, they are entitled to sickness benefits.
The period of compulsory quarantine due to exposure to SARS-CoV-2 infection or contact with the source of infection ends after 10 days, counting from the day following the last day of exposure or contact, respectively. The quarantine of a person after crossing the state border lasts 10 days, counting from the day following the crossing of the border, explains Wiesława Kostuj.
A person in quarantine may work in certain situations. However, she is not allowed to leave the house, even go for a walk with her dog or with garbage. This also applies to the so-called asymptomatic. Failure to comply with the quarantine rules may result in a fine of up to 30,000. PLN.
An employee in quarantine may receive:
- sick pay
- sickness allowance
- care allowance
It is worth emphasizing that an employee cannot receive benefits and remuneration at the same time. An employee who has the decision of the sanitary inspector may apply for payment of remuneration for the period of sickness, sickness allowance or care allowance due to incapacity to work or the need to care for a child. Then, however, work will be impossible.
What benefit is the employee entitled to in quarantine?
There are several factors that determine what benefit you are entitled to during quarantine, including the type of contract you sign and the size of the company you employ. An employee who is able to work remotely and feels good can make an appointment with the employer at the home office. Then he will be entitled to full remuneration.
If it is not possible to work from home, your rights are affected by your insurance and the type of contract you sign. Persons with employment contracts and self-employed persons are entitled to sick pay or sickness benefit in the amount of 80% of the salary for the last 12 months. In the case of a person with a civil law contract, it all depends on whether he was insured with ZUS and had sickness insurance paid.
What benefit can the parent of a child in quarantine receive?
The decision to isolate or quarantine a child results in the fact that one of the parents caring for him or her is entitled to a care allowance. The isolation or quarantine of the child is then treated in the same way as illness. A carer’s allowance of 80% of wages will then be paid for each day of the child’s quarantine or isolation, including public holidays.
In the case of caring for a healthy child up to 8 years of age or a sick child up to 14 years of age, e.g. due to the unexpected closure of a nursery or kindergarten, the care allowance is granted for a maximum of 60 days in a calendar year (this does not apply to the additional care allowance).
People in quarantine or isolation who pay voluntary sickness insurance, e.g. entrepreneurs, are also entitled to sickness benefits. In order to receive the benefit, persons insured voluntarily in the National Health Fund should submit a declaration of incapacity to work with ZUS. A self-employed person must complete the ZAS-53 application on the ZUS PUE website and attach a scan or photo of the original, signed statement. The amount of the allowance is based on the fees the claimant has paid in advance.
What to do with the quarantine decision?
The decision on quarantine or isolation should be delivered to the contribution payer (e.g. employer, principal or ZUS). This can be done after quarantine or isolation, but do not hesitate to inform your supervisor of the decision.
Both the sick pay and the allowance are paid by the contribution payer (employer, client or the Social Insurance Institution). If the benefit should be paid by ZUS, the employer must submit to the Social Insurance Institution the decision on quarantine or isolation. He has 7 days to do so from receiving the decision. Contact with ZUS may take place via the Electronic Services Platform (PUE) of ZUS.
When is it not necessary to work in quarantine?
An employee may receive a medical certificate of temporary incapacity for work if he or she is hospitalized, isolated or quarantined due to his health condition. In order to be entitled to sickness benefit, the doctor must issue a sick leave. Without such a certificate and a medical certificate, you are not entitled to sickness benefit.
It happens that employees continue to go to work, even when a coronavirus infection has been identified in the company. In this case, the employed person cannot independently decide to refrain from work. I need a sanitary inspector’s decision and a doctor’s certificate.
Who else needs to be quarantined?
The obligation to quarantine rests with employees from outside the EU who crossed the border with Poland. However, the quarantine will not apply to citizens of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states, citizens of the countries that have signed the Agreement on the European Economic Area, the Swiss and the spouses and children of the above-mentioned persons. In addition, passengers who have flown to Poland with airlines from a country not covered by air traffic bans are exempt from quarantine.
Quarantine is obligatory for Ukrainians and Belarusians who come to Poland to work. In their case, the place of quarantine should be provided by the employer. On the other hand, Polish employees returning from work abroad are exempt from the quarantine obligation.
Quarantine is not obligatory for students studying at Polish universities, doctoral students, scientists conducting research activity in Poland, postgraduate students and people in the course of specialist education in our country. In addition, the quarantine will not apply to foreigners who are spouses or children of Polish citizens, as well as persons under the constant care of Polish citizens.