Coronavirus: Is your employee ill?

Author: Catherine Legardien (Legal Expert)

If one of your employees becomes incapacitated for work during this quarantine period, whether due to the Coronavirus or for any other reason, he must complete the formalities customary for you. But who will have to grant him pay?

What does your employee have to do?

If your employee becomes incapacitated for work, he must fulfil certain obligations.


Your employee is legally obliged to notify you immediately of his incapacity for work, even if he is abroad.

He can notify his employer in various ways, for example by telephone, email, SMS or by instructing a family member or a colleague at work to do so.

Submitting a medical certificate

The employee must only spontaneously submit a medical certificate if this obligation is stated in a provision of a collective bargaining agreement or in the employment regulations in force in your company. If this is not the case, you must explicitly ask your employee to do so.

Who will pay your employee?

Whether your employee continues to work normally (in compliance with the rules of social distancing) or is teleworking, if he becomes ill, you will have to pay him guaranteed wages. If he is still unfit for work at the end of the period of guaranteed wages, he will receive a benefit from his health insurance fund.

What if your employee is declared temporarily unemployed?

If your employee is unfit for work (for whatever reason) during a period of temporary unemployment (for economic reasons or due to force majeure), you do not have to pay him guaranteed wages for the days of unemployment. This rule, which is only laid down by law for manual workers, may also apply to non-manual workers. The employee will receive a benefit from his health insurance fund.

The same applies if your employee was incapacitated for work before the start of the period of temporary unemployment. You only have to pay guaranteed wages for the days of incapacity for work preceding the period of temporary unemployment. For the days of incapacity for work that coincide with the days of temporary unemployment, your employee can claim a benefit from his health insurance fund.

Mind that for entitlement to benefits from the health insurance fund, your employee must declare his incapacity for work to his health insurance fund as soon as possible.

On your part you must complete the electronic information sheet benefits (ZIMA 001) and indicate the days of temporary unemployment with the code nature of the day 6.5. Would you like Partena to do this for you? Then contact your Payroll Consultant.

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