1. What options do employers have and/or what are you seeing in terms of re-opening the workplace e.g. phased returns, rotating shifts, staggered working hours, etc.?
Presidential Decree no. 142/20, of 25 May declared the Situation of Public Calamity and established the most recent rules on this topic. Whenever conditions allow, the telework regime is mandatory for employees exempted from working at the employer’s premises, including:
- employees aged 60 or over;
- employees with chronic disease considered at risk;
- pregnant employees; and
- employees with children under 12 years old in their care.
It is recommended that the telework regime is adopted, by agreement executed between the parties, whenever the employee’s situation and their duties allow the performance of work under that regime.
For jobs not compatible with the telework regime, the employer should implement daily or weekly rotational schemes and different entry and exit times.
For the trade industry and services in general, the following was determined (dependent on the evolution of the epidemiological situation):
- New schedule as of 26 May: 7am until 7pm.
- As of 26 May: 50% of the workforce may return to the performance of work on-site (applying rotation schemes).
- As of 8 June: 75% of the workforce may return to the performance of work on-site (applying rotation schemes).
- As of 29 June: 100% of the workforce may return to the performance of work on-site.
2. Does an employer have to give notice to employees to return to the workplace?
There is no legally defined obligation. However, it is recommended that a notice is sent to employees, as they may not be aware of the company’s plan regarding the return to activity.
3. Are there any requirements or recommendations for employees to wear or employers to provide masks or other protective equipment in the workplace?
Key hygiene measures include:
- mandatory use of masks, as there is a general obligation to use a face mask in closed areas of common use (however, there is no specific obligation for the employer to supply masks);
- observance of physical distance;
- checking employees’ body temperature;
- hand-hygiene points at the entrance and inside facilities;
- compliance with biosafety measures;
- the placement of recommendations of health authorities in a visible place;
- regular cleaning of surfaces and work equipment; and
- regular ventilation of spaces.
4. When can business travel resume and what are the key considerations for employers?
Business travel may resume if health and safety conditions are met, as there are no specific provisions in this regard and employees are permitted to circulate in public areas and travel when performing their job (which would be the case for business travel). However, air travel restrictions continue to apply.
5. If schools remain closed, can working parents continue to work from home?
Yes, only employees with children under 12 years old in their care may continue to work under the telework regime.
Public and private higher education establishments and those of the second cycle of secondary education will restart teaching activity from 13 July.
Public and private institutions of the first cycle of secondary education and of primary education will restart teaching activity from 27 July.
This material was prepared by DLA Piper Africa, Angola (ADCA)