Leave of absence during a pandemic, can an employer

An employer should not request information from employees about exactly where they will spend their vacation. However, in specific situations, it may obtain such information.
In times of pandemic, employers are trying to ensure the maximum safety of employees and the proper flow of work to avoid a quarantine that would affect the continued operation of the business. Some of them ask employees about their whereabouts during the leave of absence or demand such data from them. The employer should not require every employee to provide such information, but it is permissible to provide such data voluntarily or to obtain such data for a specific purpose, such as work organisation or for specific safety requirements.
The information on the whereabouts of an employee while on vacation is most often intended to assess the risk of coronavirus infection and therefore relates to the employee’s health. Such information can only be obtained with the employee’s consent. Requesting such information from all employees is not acceptable. If the employer wants to ask about the resting place itself, it should try to justify this with objective reasons, such as the position held.
Refusal to provide such information cannot lead to negative consequences for the employee, such as termination of employment.
The company may ask whether the employee intends to go to a country outside the EU during the vacation, because it means that after return will be subject to a mandatory two-week quarantine, and this affects the organization of work.
Questions about the place of rest are also permissible because of the possible cancellation of the employee’s leave, which the company is entitled to do. The employer is then paying the cost of returning from his place of stay and may want to estimate it.
The way the employer deals with the above issue is very important. He should keep in mind the protection of employees under the current legislation.
It is therefore a good idea to try to reach an agreement with the employees on this matter.

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