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Going to the office when your child is infected with the coronavirus?

Can employees be prohibited from coming to office when their sick child may be infected with coronavirus?

Those with young children know it often happens one of them gets sick or catches a cold. Therefore, these employees will not think twice about coming to office for work. However, you as employer are responsible for providing a safe and sound working environment for your employees, which means you should do whatever you can to avoid any coronavirus infections happening in the workspace.

Staying home

At the time of writing, the advice given by the government is for employees to stay home when a housemate displays certain symptoms, including a fever or shortness of breath. (S)he is therefore not allowed to come to office. The other housemates must also stay home until the housemate displaying symptoms receives the results of testing. The same applies when this housemate is a child. Children with symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, etc., may also be infected with the coronavirus. In that case, they are prohibited from going to school. Because you as employer are responsible for keeping the workplace safe and sound, you can refuse entry to employees of whom you know they have a sick child at home; especially since they pose a danger to the health of other employees. You can include this measure in the general rules of your organization. You must continue paying wages to employee who are forced to stay home because of a sick child. Perhaps they can work from home during their quarantine.

Inspection

When you do allow an employee with a sick child at home to come to office for work, contrary to the government’s advice, you endanger the health of other employees. Moreover, there is always the risk that some employees no longer want to or are afraid to come to office. Furthermore, there is a chance the inspection of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment will take action against you, especially when a coronavirus infection starts spreading in your organization.

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