CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 ‘s Effect on workflow (Employers and Employees) :On 11th of March, 2020, WHO Chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu had declared COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS as a pandemic, and the definition of Pandemic is a disease that is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.
Therefore, Egypt was keen to take several precautionary measures with the aim of reducing clusters. This article will present the effect of organized laws on workflow and investment climate in Egypt.
According to Egypt’s Prime Minister, the most of administrative sectors were partially or totally suspended like the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones suspended partially, or the Public Notary’s which were suspended totally. Also, the court hearings were suspended by the orders of courts’ presidents orders according to the Minister of Justice’s orders, in addition to Administrative courts’ hearings according to the Council President Decree No.206 of the year 2020.
Furthermore, Council of Ministers Decree No. 719 of the year 2020 allowed public sector employees to work from home, if it is possible, and granted them a rotational leave. Moreover, once there is any chronic disease with any public employee, the state will give him leave until the end of the epidemic period with full pay as per Article No.9 from the same Decree. However, the employees who work in vital entities like hospitals, water, and electricity companies, are excluded from this Decision. Also, a pregnant employee who is caring for one or more children under the age of twelve years shall be granted exceptional leave for the duration of the validity of this Decision.
The aforementioned related to the public sector’s employees, nevertheless there is no decree that has regulated the private sector through this force majeure.
Therefore, there are private-sector employers who are still making their employees come to work every day, this segment is obliged with taking all required measures to protect their employees, as per Article No.215 from the Labor Law No.12 of the year 2003 which stipulates that: “The facility and its branches shall undertake an assessment and analysis of the industrial and natural hazards and disasters, and prepare an emergency plan to protect the facility and its workers when the disaster occurs, provided that the effectiveness of this plan is chosen and practical data are provided on it to ensure its efficiency and train workers to meet its requirements……………” so the employer shall be obliged to provide his workers with all required precautions to avoid any infections.
If the employer doesn’t follow these instructions as mentioned in the aforementioned article, the competent administrative authority may -in the case the establishment refuses to implement what is required by the previous provisions, and also in the event of imminent danger to the health or safety of workers– close the facility entirely or partially. The decision to close or suspend shall be implemented by administrative means, without prejudice to the right of workers to receive their full wages during the period of closure or suspension.
On another hand, there is a large segment of private employers that followed the footsteps of the public sector and decided either the employees work from home or have a periodic rotational leave between the staff or their leave and stay at home without work.
The private sector employer shall bear in mind that as mentioned in Article 41 of the Labor Law No.12 of the year 2003: “If the worker comes to his workplace at the specified time for work, and he is ready to start his work and does not prevent reasons due to the employer, he is considered as if he was already working and he deserves his full wages.
But if he attends and prevents him from directing his compelling reasons beyond the control of the employer, he shall be entitled to half of his wages.”
This means that the employer is prohibited from terminating the work relation with its employees, and in case the employer had terminated and dismissed the employees, it shall be considered as arbitrary dismissal and the employer will be liable to pay compensation for the workers.
Also, it is not allowed to reduce wages for more than 50% as per the previously mentioned Article, otherwise, the employer will be liable and shall pay compensation for the workers.
However, the employer has the authority by law to oblige the employees to take their annual leave during the period of spreading the virus, as the employer has the legal right to determine the dates of the annual leave for the worker according to the work requirements and circumstances, and the worker has an obligation to take leave on the date and for the period specified by his employer.
Finally, the worst Scenario is Full or Partial Closure for the employer’s facility.
First of all, we must refer to that the employer cannot close the establishment for economic reasons, except after submitting an application to a specialized committee formed for this purpose, as per Article 196 from the Egyptian Labor Law.
If the committee approves the full or partial closure of the establishment and any full or partial closure of the establishment without following the legal procedures referred to and results in dismissals, an arbitrary dismissal of work is required to compensate for no less than two months for each year of service years.
As for the case of partial or full closure by following the legal procedure mentioned in the Labor Law, in this case, especially in the full closure, i.e. terminating the business of the employer, which is followed by the termination of the work contract, the worker shall be entitled to a compensation equivalent in exchange for a month’s wage of the last comprehensive wage for each year of service years the first five and a month and a half for each year exceeding.