Employers will be able to check their staff's Covid passes

The changes still need to be approved by the parliament.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

Several rules to prevent coronavirus from spreading are likely to change.

At its November 10 session the cabinet approved a package of measures related to the entitlement of employers to ask their employees for Covid passes and the powers of hygienists and police when checking whether people are adhering to the restrictions.

The changes still need to be approved by the parliament. The cabinet proposes discussing them in fast-track proceeding, the TASR newswire reported.

Here is what should change:

Covid passes to be checked

Employees entering the workplace will be obliged to show a Covid pass, i.e. a confirmation of being vaccinated against Covid, possessing a negative test result or having recovered from the disease.

Under the current rules, employers cannot directly ask their staff whether they have been vaccinated against Covid. Employees can decide on whether to tell their employer. If the changes are passed, employers will have a legitimate tool to check their staff.

Companies struggle with data on vaccination of their employees Read more 

Currently, it is not clear in which tiers employers will be entitled to ask for Covid passes. This will be decided by the Public Health Authority (ÚVZ), based on the government resolution, said Labour Minister Milan Krajniak (Sme Rodina), as reported by TASR.

He stressed that if employers require any confirmation of vaccination, negative test or recovery from their employees, then employees should have an option for free testing.

The coalition council agreed earlier that the tests should be covered by the employer. Yet, PM Eduard Heger said that the burden will not be on employers only, and added that more details will be revealed in the coming days.

More freedom for the vaccinated welcomed, workplace rules fall short Read more 

Covid passes should also be required when entering certain premises, like restaurants or shops. The owners will also be entitled to check the identity of the person.

People who refuse to show any of the confirmations or prove their identity will not be allowed to enter premises or attend a mass event.

More powers for hygienists

The cabinet also agreed on extending the competences of hygienists.

For example, they would be entitled to close certain premises if the Covid-related situation is critical. The hygienists can also ask police officers for help.

At the same time, police officers will be entitled to ask people to show a confirmation of vaccination, recovery from Covid or a negative test result.

Coalition agrees on more benefits for the vaccinated and those who have recovered from Covid Read more 

Higher penalties

If a person is offensive towards the hygienists, falsifies a Covid pass or threatens the provision of health care, it will be possible to fine them with up to €1,000. The fine for a misdemeanour on the spot will amount to up to €500.

For offences committed during the state of emergency or national emergency, the fine can be as high as €1,500, and the on-the-spot fine as high as €700.

Pandemic sick leave benefit to change

The cabinet also agreed on changing the pandemic sick leave benefit (known as PN in Slovak). Starting on December 1, it will amount to the same sum as the ordinary sick leave benefit.

Sme Rodina has opposed this proposal, Krajniak said.

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