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What to do if an employee has potential COVID-19 symptoms? A 7-step guide from Russia

Written by
ALRUD, a confident Russian leader in labour and employment law.
This article sets out a 7-step plan of required and recommended actions which employers in Russia should take if an employee has symptoms of COVID-19.

The purpose of this step-by-step plan is to provide high-level guidance on how to stop the spread of a virus in a working place, protect the health of employees and therefore mitigate risks of administrative and criminal liability for the employer.  

Please note that regional regulations may substantially differ, depending on the epidemiological situation in each region. Please, additionally, monitor local requirements of the Russian region where the company operates. 

Essential statements 

This step-by-step plan contains 7 steps, which are sequential, unless otherwise statedSteps 1-6 are essential to identify and isolate all contacts of the infected employee to stop the spread of a virus, as stated in Step 7. Obligations are in redrecommendations are in black 

The person responsible for carrying out the actions in the step-by-step plan is the employer, or the person in charge (according to local policies, an employment contract, or a job description), unless otherwise stated. 

Step 1: Suspend the employee from working and send him or her home or to the hospital  

  • Suspend the employee from work: an oral order is sufficient 
  • Send the employee home, or to a hospital 
  • Call a taxi, to prevent the employee from using public transport. 


Step 2: Recommend the employee calls a doctor or takes sick leave 

  • Ask the employee to consult a doctor and take sick leave. Justify this by explaining that s/he is obliged to comply with health and safety rules and cannot violate colleagues’ rights relating to the protectin of their health 
  • Notify the employee that s/he must observe a self-isolation regime, until obtaining a COVID-19 test result and/or until the day of recovery (if s/he receives a positive test) 
  • Recommend calling a doctor immediately and testing for COVID-19. If the employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, the organisation will have to suspend, from work, all employees who were in contact with him or her in the office or other workplace 


Step 3: disinfect the workplace 

  • The individual(s) in charge must disinfect (using disinfectants, aeration, etc.) the employee’s workplace and all other places which the employee visited that day and surfaces with which s/he was in contact 
  • Disinfection must be carried out ASAP after Step 1 or 2.  
  • Record the disinfection in the register of disinfections 


Step 4Issue a written statement 

  • ASAP after Step 2, issue a written statement stating that a person with high temperature or symptoms of respiratory diseases has been detected in free form, indicating: 
  • the employee with high temperature or symptoms of respiratory diseases; 
  • the employee’s comments (e.g. contacts with infected individuals); 
  • the employer’s actions (see Steps 1 and 2) 


 Step 5issue an order  

  • The General Director of the company, or Head of the Branch or Rep Office must issue an order suspending the employee from work (Order) indicating persons responsible for ensuring that the employee arrives home and that the workplace is disinfected 
  • Familiarise the employee with the written statement (see Step 4) and the Order by sending him or her a scanned copy 
  • Request that the employee signs the scanned copy of the Act and the Order. The orginal can be submitted later (when possible) 


 Step 6: get the test results 

  • Contact the employee to check that s/he called a doctor and took a COVID-19 test. 
  • Contact the employee to get information on the COVID-19 test result (explain that this may affect his or her colleagues’ health and help to prevent further spread of the virus). Please note, that the employee is not obliged to provide this information to you, the employer, and cannot be forced to inform his or her employer of the test results. This should be done ASAP, depending on the time necessary for testing, in the specific region 
  • If the employee receives a positive COVID-19 test result, please see Step 7. 


 Step 7: isolate the infected person’s work contacts 

  • ASAP after finding out an employee has received a positive COVID-19 test result, carry out Steps 1-6 in relation to all employees who were in contact with the infected person, including suspending these employees from work, disinfecting their workplaces and checking their COVID-19 test results 


Roman Shumsky