News in employee testing in the Czech Republic from 17 January 2022
Company: Eversheds Sutherland, advokátní kancelář, s.r.o.
From 17 January 2022 there will be a change in mandatory employee testing:
more frequent testing
no exceptions for vaccinated people
How often is it necessary to test?
- From 17 January 2022, all employers are obliged to test their employees twice a week at the workplace.
- Testing must be performed by means of a rapid antigen test (RAT), designed for self-testing (use by a layperson).
- The next test of the week will take place at the earliest on the third day after the previous test (i.e. if the first test is on Monday, the second test can be performed on Thursday at the earliest).
- If the employee is not present at the workplace on the day of testing, the test will be performed on the day of their arrival at the workplace.
- For the purposes of testing, temporarily assigned agency workers are also regarded as employees.
What obligations do employees have?
- All employees are required to take the test.
- The procedures when an employee refuses to take the test remain the same:
- The employer is obliged to report this fact to the locally competent regional hygiene station and to limit this employee's contact with other persons as far as possible.
- The employee is obliged to wear a respirator for the entire period of their presence at the workplace; and
- to keep a distance of at least 1.5 m from other persons and eat separately from other persons.
- If the result of the test is positive, the employee is obliged to immediately inform their employer about this fact, leave the workplace and provide cooperation to the regional hygiene station, which will order quarantine of five days.
- Quarantine can be terminated earlier by a negative RT-PCR test.
- On the day the employee returns to the workplace after quarantine, the employee is required to undergo a rapid antigen test.
What wage compensation will employees receive?
- The employee's absence from the workplace due to a positive test and quarantine is considered incapacity for work and the employee is entitled to compensation equal to 60% of the employee's average earnings.
- At the same time, employees are entitled to a so-called "isolation payment", i.e. an extraordinary contribution to wage compensation during ordered quarantine (isolation) of up to CZK 370 per day, where the sum of the wage compensation and isolation payment must not exceed 90% of the employee's average earnings.
Who is exempt from testing?
- Mandatory testing will not apply only to persons who:
- have undergone a RT-PCR test in the last 72 hours with a negative result
- have undergone a rapid antigen test (RAT) performed by a healthcare professional in the last 24 hours with a negative result
- undergo preventive testing at another employer
- work outside the workplace (typically from home) or in isolation without contact with third parties
- Employees are required to prove that they are covered by the exemptions, either by confirmation from the health service provider / digital certificate or by written confirmation from another employer.
What about self-employed persons and executives?
From 17 January 2022, the new testing conditions will also apply to self-employed persons who carry out their main activity in the Czech Republic or to members of the bodies of legal entities if they meet with third parties within the scope of their activities.
What records need to be kept and to whom should positive tests be reported?
- Employers are obliged to keep records of tested persons in the following extent:
- Date of testing, name of the tested person, date of birth, health insurance number, the name of the health insurance company and the result of the tests.
- The employer is obliged to keep these records for 90 days.
- Employers are now obliged to send a list of persons who have tested positive (abovementioned data plus the employee's phone number) to the regional hygiene station, no later than the day following the positive test in the form of an electronic report.
How are tests paid for?
Employers are still entitled to a contribution of CZK 60 per test and, for now, the limit of four tests per month per employee still applies. However, an increase in the number of reimbursed tests may be expected in the coming days from 17 January 2022, based on an agreement between the government and health insurance companies. You can find more information about how to receive the contribution HERE (in Czech).
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