Coronavirus: what are my legal rights?

The measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus have been lifted. As an employee what must and what may I continue to do?

With the removal of the nationwide restrictions and bans, Covid-19 is legally equivalent to a normal illness. The responsibility for taking the right measures to protect the health of employees lies once again in the hands of the employer. This has an impact on everyday working life.

Because many employees still fall ill with corona, a certain degree of uncertainty remains. Find below answers to the most commonly asked questions.

What applies now?

  • I have a positive test result. What should I do?

    Note: As of April 1, 2022, the isolation requirement has been lifted. If you have a positive test result but are not ill, you must go to work.

    You have a positive result, but you are fit for work? Then we recommend that you inform your employer. Your employer is still obliged to take the necessary measures to protect your colleagues (especially those at particular risk) from infection.

    If you are unable to work due to the illness, you must provide your employer with a doctor's certificate. Before going to the doctor's office, you should inform your doctor that you have tested positive. Inform your doctor that you have tested positive for Corona.

  • I feel sick. Should I still go to work?

    As of April 1, 2022, basically the same rules apply as before Corona. If you are ill, you should not go to work. Whether you have to show a doctor's certificate from the first day of illness or only after a few days can vary depending on the employment contract, regulations or collective labor agreement.

    If you have symptoms but are basically fit for work, you should work from home for the protection of others, provided this is possible in your profession. However, there is no longer a right to work remotely.

    Discuss with your employer the possibility of working remoteley. Employers should issue clear instructions on this.

  • The family doctor is overloaded, I have not received a certificate. What now?

    Tell your boss - preferably in writing - that unfortunately you have not yet received a doctor's certificate due to the special situation, but that you will submit one as soon as possible.

    Employers are required by the Employers' Association to treat their employees fairly. There should be no pressure for sick employees to return to work.

  • May my employer maintain protective measures on his own initiative?

    Employers are responsible for the health protection of employees. This was already the case before the Corona regulations.

    Where risk situations exist (close contact over a longer period of time, increased contact with persons who may be ill), the employer can and must take the usual hygiene and protective measures to protect against infection. This is especially true when vulnerable individuals are involved.

  • Do I have a right to work from home?

    There is no right to work remotely in Switzerland. However, employers should, if possible, allow working from home, especially for particularly vulnerable persons. Because here the employer's duty of care applies even more.

    Particularly vulnerable employees should continue to be specially protected. This may mean that they can continue to work from home.

    If you have to return to work as a person at risk, the employer should allow special protective measures such as a separate work space or the wearing of a mask.

    We recommend that particularly at-risk individuals seek a dialogue with the employer if feeling unsafe.

  • I have to stay at home because my child is sick. Will I still receive a salary?

    In case of sick children under 15, you can take care of them for a maximum of three days at a time without loss of pay. However you need to hand in a doctors certificate. You are entitled to 10 days over the duration of a year.

    Due to your legal obligation to care for your child, you may be able to stay at home longer. However, only if the care of the child cannot be delegated. For example, a serious illness may make parental care necessary.

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