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The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic has put the city into turmoil. Many companies have enlisted work from home policies and remote work formats. For some employees, this means freedom; for some this means headaches and limitations with access to company resources.
For those who believe in freedom and flexibility, great – but if you take this liberty too far, you may end up like the Hang Seng Management Trainee individuals who went viral on 11 February 2020 (Tuesday). They were supposed to work from home, as part of Hang Seng’s measure against the coronavirus outbreak, but they were caught hiking instead.
We provide the following tips to help you navigate around the confusion of working during the Coronavirus Pandemic:
- Asked to take No Pay Leave: Can companies compel employees to take no-pay leave due to business slowdown? No, unless both the employees and the employers mutually agree to do so voluntarily.
- Asked to Report For Duty After Traveling: It is not against the law for employers to direct employees to report for duty, even if they have recently traveled to areas known to have Coronavirus. HOWEVER, employees should comply with quarantine requirements from time to time imposed or (as the case may be) amended by the Hong Kong Government before returning to work.
- Asked to Visit a Doctor: Whether or not employers can direct employees to see a doctor depends on their employment contracts, which may or may not provide express power for employers to do so. This is a critical time for employers to review their contract templates for future recruitment in preparation for situations like the Coronavirus Pandemic.
As for employees, it is important to review your employment contracts to know the answer to this question. For future reference, it may also be useful to know your rights under your employment contracts.
If employers need help reviewing their employment templates or employees need assistance in knowing their rights and obligations under their employment contracts, the Employment Lawyers located on LegalClarus may be able to assist.
Disclaimer: The article is for reference only and should not be construed or relied on as legal advice in whatsoever manner. Please engage a solicitor to seek formal legal advice. LegalClarus does not provide legal advice.