Q&A for staff and managers

Following the Danish government's announcement on Wednesday, March 11, DTU has decided to immediately cancel all teaching. All employees are encouraged to work from home if work permits. Employees with critical key tasks should contact their manager for further instructions.

All events are canceled.

There may be doubts about rights and obligations in connection with sick leave and/or quarantine in connection with Coronavirus.

This Q&A on employment law issues related to COVID-19 should clear up most of these.

How should you proceed if you go on sick leave with COVID-19?

Illness is lawful absence. The usual rules regarding sickness absence therefore still apply. Employees who are entitled to sick pay under normal circumstances are also entitled to sick pay if infected with COVID-19.

How should we relate to the other employees/students if a colleague/fellow student goes on sick leave with COVID-19?

DTU will contact the Danish Patient Safety Authority with a view to clarifying which measures to take.

Is your manager allowed to ask whether you have COVID-19?

No, as a general rule, your manager is not allowed to ask about the cause of your sickness absence. However, in order to avoid infecting others, you are obliged to inform your manager if you are or suspect that you are infected with COVID-19, as it is a contagious disease with potentially serious consequences.

Is your manager allowed to require documentation of your quarantine?

Yes, DTU has the right to ask for medical documentation that you are required be quarantined.

Am I entitled to pay if I am put into preventive quarantine?

If you are quarantined by the health authorities or by your own doctor, this is lawful absence and you are entitled to full pay. The same applies if it is only recommended by the health authorities or by your own doctor that you go into preventive quarantine. Together with your immediate manager, clarify which work tasks you can carry out from home during quarantine.

Can I quarantine myself?

No, you cannot quarantine yourself. You should discuss why you want to stay home from work with your immediate manager. Depending on the reason, it may be a case of lawful absence where you will be entitled to pay. You and your manager should also discuss which work tasks you will be able to carry out from home.

Can DTU quarantine me?

No, but by virtue of the management prerogative, DTU can ask you not to come into work. Discuss with your immediate manager which tasks you can carry out from home.

How should you proceed if you cannot come into work after a holiday due to, e.g., travel bans, flight bans, etc.?

If a foreign authority issues a travel ban due to infection risks following an outbreak of COVID-19 (new coronavirus), this will correspond to being instructed by the Danish authorities to go into preventive quarantine.

If your return journey is prevented due to cancelled flights, it will be a case of lawful absence. However, you should be aware that in that case you are not entitled to pay during the absence. You should contact your immediate manager and, if necessary, discuss the possibility of working remotely.

Can I say no to a business trip?

The department and your immediate manager are responsible for assessing whether the trip is ‘necessary’ and whether the safety and health risks entitle you to refuse travelling. You should therefore discuss this with your immediate manager.

What if I am on holiday in a risk area?

If you choose to holiday in an area where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against unnecessary travel and you become infected with COVID-19, it may, following an individual assessment, lead to the conclusion that your illness is self-inflicted. Depending on the circumstances, your claim to pay during illness will therefore no longer apply. You are required to inform your immediate manager if you have travelled or stayed in areas where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against travel.

Should you have employment law questions in relation to COVID-19, that are not covered in the above Q&A, you can contact Corporate HR at covid19@dtu.dk.