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Coronavirus: BNP Paribas asking employees to work from home

11:39 28/02/2020

BNP Paribas Fortis, one of Belgium’s largest banks, is asking employees who’ve recently travelled abroad not to come into work due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Any employee who’s travelled to a country or region where there’s been an outbreak of the coronavirus is being asked not to come into the office for two weeks by either taking leave or recovery days.

But the bank’s request may not be legal under Belgian law. Kasper Demol, a spokesperson for the VOKA chamber of commerce, told Bruzz that employees should be free to choose their holidays.

“A tension exists between employers’ duties to guarantee the safety of all employees, and the agreements made in employee contracts that can’t just unilaterally be modified,” he said.

VOKA has called on the government to establish a corona taskforce, which would serve both as an information and contact point for government officials and employers.

BNP Paribas Fortis, from its side, has emphasised that its asking employees and managers to decide on an arrangement together. “There’s moreover also the option of telework,” spokesperson Hans Mariën added.

Photo: Belga / Paul-Henri Verlooy

Written by Linda A. Thompson


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