Corona

Corona passport, testing and vaccination: what can your employer require?

Can your employer demand to see your corona passport? And can your employer require you to be tested for or vaccinated against corona? Get answers here.

In Denmark, corona is classified as a disease presenting a critical threat to society.

Therefore, workplaces can take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 infection and ensure a healthy and safe working environment for you and your colleagues.

But what may your employer require in connection with corona passports, testing and vaccination?

Corona passport: what your employer can demand

On 26 November 2021 a new Act came into force. The new legislation allows employers to require employees to display a valid corona passport on the job. 

A corona passport is an app or document that proves you have been vaccinated, are previously infected (immune) or have a negative test result.

When is a corona passport valid? Read more at en.coronasmitte.dk

Can my employer require me to produce corona passport? 

Yes, your employer may require you to present a corona passport to go to work. On November 26, 2021, a new act came into force that enables your employer to require you to present a corona passport to get to work.

The new legislation applies to both private and public employers as long as Covid-19 is characterized as a disease posting a critical threat to society.  

Your employer must inform you and your colleagues in writing that a valid corona passport is a requirement for coming to work, and your employer must justify why the new measure is introduced. It is sufficient here for your employer to refer to Covid-19's status as a disease posing a critical threat to society. 

In addition, your employer must inform union representatives, works council representatives or health and safety representatives of the introduction of the corona passport requirement, and the local works council (Samarbejdsudvalg - SU) must be consulted. 

You can document your corona passport either in paper format, electronically or by presenting "Coronapas", the official app of the Danish health authorities. 

If your employer's requirement to produce corona passports means that you must be tested for corona because you have not been vaccinated or previously infected, your employer also has the legal right to require you to be tested for Covid-19. 

Can my employment be affected if I do not present a corona passport?

Failure to comply with your employer's instructions to show corona passport may have consequences for your employment in the form of a warning, notice, or dismissal. However, your employer must have informed you in their instructions that there may be consequences under employment law if you do not comply with the order.  

If you do not want to show the corona passport, you can try to talk to your employer about the possibility of working at home instead of coming to work. 

Working from home: here are your rights

Must I show a corona passport at a company Christmas party?

The act gives your employer the right to require you to produce corona passport if you come into the office during normal working hours to do the job you are employed to do. 

However, the act does not apply to voluntary events planned by your employer which mainly involve a social element and which take place outside normal working hours, even if the company Christmas party is held at the workplace. 

However, because this is an event that you are not obliged to attend and where your employer invites you, your employer may make your attendance conditional on you presenting a corona passport. 

If you do not wish to present the corona passport in order to attend the company Christmas party, you are entitled to refuse the requirement to show a corona passport and instead stay at home, without experiencing any consequences relating to your employment.  

If the company Christmas party is held in town at a restaurant, the restaurant owner will require you to have a corona passport to enter the restaurant, so it is not relevant for your employer to also require a corona passport.

Corona test: What can your employer require?

Your employer may require you to be tested for corona as soon as possible. On November 26, 2021, a new act came into effect that allows employers to test employees for corona and receive the test results.

The act applies as long as Covid-19 is considered a disease posing a serious threat to society.

Can my employer require me to be tested for corona? 

Yes, your employer can require that you are tested for corona as soon as possible and that you notify the employer of the results of the test. 

Employers can only require a test for whether you are infected with corona and not whether you have formed antibodies to Covid-19. 

If you are instructed to be tested, you are obliged to be tested as soon as possible and within the time limit set by your employer. You must also provide proof of the test result, for example by a printout from sundhed.dk or by a solemn declaration if you do not have the test result in electronic form. 

Your employer must also provide you in writing with the reasons why you are being asked to take a corona test. 

Your employer may also require you to inform the company if you have voluntarily taken a test showing that you have tested positive for Covid-19. Such an order will generally apply until your employer revokes it or when Covid-19 is no longer categorised as posing a critical threat to society, and the law lapses.

Can my employer require a corona test without any objective reason? 

No, your employer can only require you to be tested for Covid-19 if there are legitimate reasons for doing so to limit the spread of infection, including health and safety or essential operational considerations. 

  • For example, a company could legitimately require a corona test of its employees if there is a major outbreak of infection in the company.   
  • An example of operational considerations could be that a buyer of a company's products requires that production has taken place or is taking place in circumstances where measures have been taken to prevent covid-19.

If you have a valid corona passport, either because you have been vaccinated or have been infected in the past, your employer will not normally have a valid reason for requiring you to be tested. Only in exceptional circumstances, such as a major outbreak at work, can your employer require you to be tested. This is because in such a situation the authorities recommend that vaccinated and previously infected people also get tested.

How should the corona test be done? 

The test itself must be carried out in a satisfactory manner in accordance with the rules and guidelines laid down by the health authorities. This applies whether the test is carried out in the workplace or outside it. This means, among other things, that the test must be carried out by a person who has the necessary professional qualifications to carry out the test. 

Based on a new addition to the law, your employer can now require you and your colleagues to use self-testing at work, provided it is a CE-approved test and is used in accordance with the instructions. A self-test cannot be the basis for a corona passport.   

Does the corona test have to be taken during normal working hours if the employer requires me to be tested?

If your employer requires you to take a corona test, it should be carried out during normal working hours wherever possible. If this is not possible, or if a quick test result is prioritised, you should be compensated for the time you spend outside normal working hours. 

If you incur any transport or other expenses in connection with the test, you must also be compensated for these expenses. 

Can I refuse to be tested for corona? 

If you do not comply with your employer's instructions to be tested for corona and to communicate the results of the test, you may be subject to employment sanctions (e.g. warning, notice, termination or dismissal) if you have been informed in writing by your employer that you may be subject to such sanctions if you do not comply. 

My employer requires me to take a quick test for corona, but I prefer a PCR test. Can I request the PCR test as it gives a more accurate test result? 

The law gives an employer the right to require a corona test of their employees, but does not address what type of test must be performed. 

As a general rule, both the employer and the employee have an interest in using a test that gives as accurate a test result as possible, but this interest may in some cases conflict with the employer's interest in getting a quick test result. 

If your employer requires a quick test, for example by having a Falck test van come to your workplace, or a self-test at your workplace, you will probably be obliged to have the quick test or self-test rather than a PCR test - unless you can get the test result of a PCR test before the test van comes to your workplace or within the deadline set by your employer. 

If your employer has not specified which type of test you should have, but has simply set a deadline for the test results, you will be free to choose between the two types.    

Do I have to get tested for corona if my employer does not meet the legal requirements to ask for a corona test? 

If you have been required to take a test without your employer complying with the conditions stated in the act, for example if there is no valid reason for the test, the test is not carried out in a satisfactory manner, or your employer has not given written reasons why you should be tested, you should contact IDA as you may be entitled to compensation.  

Do I have to inform my employer of the result of my corona test?  

Your employer may require you to report the results of a test as soon as possible if you have tested positive. You will also be obliged to provide the time of the test if your employer asks for this information.

I want to be tested for Covid-19 on my own initiative. Can I be tested during working hours and am I entitled to a salary?  

If you have symptoms of corona or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, the Danish Health Authority recommends that you be tested to prevent any spread of infection.    

As a rule, you should choose to be tested outside normal working hours. If this is not possible, you should choose the time that is least inconvenient for your workplace. 

If it is necessary to be tested during working hours, you are entitled to time off work and pay during the absence in the same way as for other necessary medical examinations. You should inform your employer of your absence for testing as soon as possible.   

If you wish to be tested for corona during working hours for other reasons, for example as a precaution before visiting family, the absence must be agreed with your immediate supervisor and you must use time off in lieu or similar.

I will be accompanying my child who is being tested for Covid-19 during my working hours. Am I entitled to a salary? 

If you suspect that your child is infected with corona or is a close contact of a person infected with Covid-19, the Danish Health Authority recommends that the child be tested.   

As a rule, you should choose to have your child tested outside normal working hours. If this is not possible, you should choose the time that is least inconvenient for your workplace. If it is necessary for you to accompany your child for testing during working hours, you are entitled to time off and pay to the same extent as you are normally entitled to time off for necessary medical examinations of the child.   

Whether you are entitled to a salary during your absence depends on the company's guidelines in this area. You can often find the guidelines in the company's staff handbook. In any case, you should inform your employer of your absence to accompany the child as soon as possible.   

If you wish to have your child tested for Covid-19 for other reasons, for example as a precaution before the child goes to visit family, the absence must be agreed with your immediate manager and you must use time off in lieu or similar. 

Corona vaccination: what can your employer demand?

From 26 November 2021, your employer is allowed to ask to see corona passport and require you to be tested. But can your employer also require you to be vaccinated against corona? Read more here.

Can my employer require that I get vaccinated? 

Your employer is obliged by the Working Environment Act to ensure a healthy and safe working environment at the workplace, which means, among other things, that they must try to prevent the spread of coronavirus at work. 

But it does not give your employer a legal right to require you to be vaccinated, as this would be considered too far-reaching an intrusion into your privacy and personal freedom.  

Therefore, if your employer wants you to be vaccinated or makes it a condition of your continued employment that you be vaccinated, you will be entitled to refuse this request/demand.

I am going on a business trip - can my employer require that I get vaccinated?

Your employer cannot require you to be vaccinated - even if you are going on a business trip where the customer, airline or country you are travelling to requires you to have been vaccinated.  

If you refuse to be vaccinated in this case, you may be put in a situation where you cannot perform your normal work duties, and if your employer cannot assign you to other work duties, this may have consequences for your employment.  

However, IDA encourages you and your employer to engage in a dialogue on how best to resolve the situation.  

Contact IDA if you need advice 

Am I obliged to answer if my employer asks if I have been vaccinated? 

Under the Health Information Act, your employer is not allowed to ask about your health unless it is of significant importance to the performance of your job. 

Whether or not you have been vaccinated against Covid-19 is considered health information, and your employer may therefore only ask about this if your vaccination status has a significant impact on the performance of your job.

What do I do if one or more of my colleagues at work do not get vaccinated?

As a general rule, your colleagues are not obliged to get vaccinated, and as long as they are not infected with corona, you should come to work and observe the normal precautions recommended by the health authorities to prevent infection.

At the same time, your employer must help to ensure a healthy and safe working environment in the workplace to minimise the risk of infection.