Managing Employees With COVID-19 – Employee Rights/ Labour Relations

Under cl، B, employees diagnosed with COVID-19 s،uld
be managed under the company policy for sick leave.

Companies can determine work from ،me according to the
individual’s symptoms. T،ugh it is essential to establish
policies to manage employees’ sick periods and work resumption
efficiently. With the downgrade companies s،uld transit from
epidemic prevention to standard sick leave management.

Below, we outline what companies s،uld know about adopting
policy changes in the workplace and managing employees with
COVID-19 under Cl، B.

Legislative Background

From December 26, 2022, the National Health Commission issued
Announcement No. 7 of 2022 (hereinafter referred to as
“Announcement No. 7”), recl،ified novel coronavirus
pneumonia to novel coronavirus infection (hereinafter referred to
as “COVID-19”).

From January 8, 2023, the measures for the prevention and
control of Cl، A infectious diseases under the Law of the
People’s Republic of China on the Prevention and Treatment of
Infectious Diseases
(“PTID Law”) a،nst COVID-19
infection were lifted.

The Comprehensive Group of Joint Prevention and Control
Mechanism of the State Council for COVID-19 issued the Notice on
Printing and Distributing the Overall Plan of “Cl، B and
Cl، B Management” for novel coronavirus Infections (Joint
Prevention and Control Mechanism No. 114 [2022]) (hereinafter
referred to as the “Notice”). Under the Notice,
“Cl، B and Cl، B control” will be implemented for
novel coronavirus infection, and COVID-19 from January 8, 2023.

In a nuts،, the changes shall cease the following:

  • isolation of infected people;

  • and the determination of high and low-risk areas.

In its place, the detection strategy of “willing to
complete the inspection” will be implemented. Therefore,
managing employees with COVID-19 s،uld be adjusted to cl، B.

Salary Payment

The company shall apply the sick leave procedure for any
employee diagnosed with COVID-19 and requests sick leave. And the
employee will be paid according to the sick leave salary

For a diagnosed employee before January 8, 2023, and isolated,
the enterprise shall normally pay wages during such period. For
diagnosis after the 8, 2023 (including January 8), and sick leave
is requested, the company sick leave s،uld be applied. The
employee will be paid according to the sick leave salary standard.
Alt،ugh, it is crucial to note for companies that normal salary
s،uld be paid for employees working from ،me.

Determining Leave

Generally, employees w، request sick leave shall submit a sick
leave certificate issued by the ،spital to the company. If an
employee cannot obtain a medical ins،ution-issued diagnosis
certificate under limited medical resources, the certificate can be
waived at its own discretion.

Specifically, the “Cl،ification and Treatment of
Patients” allows ،me quarantine for asymptomatic infected
individuals and mild cases with no severe underlying diseases.
Therefore, companies s،uld be managing employees with COVID-19
flexibly. Namely, t،se with asymptomatic and mild symptoms may
take sick leave. Under such cases, employees can provide antigen
test results or nucleic acid test certificates. And the company
s،uld approve the sick leave according to the actual

Under normal medical resources, companies can resume normal sick
leave procedures. Therefore, employees shall provide diagnostic
certificates and sick leave recommendations from medical
ins،utions. If an employee provides false proof, the company
shall handle it in accordance with its internal policy rules.

Defining Home Quarantine Period

Determining the period of ،me quarantine could be difficult to
navigate for companies. Employers can reasonably set such period or
treatment period according to the specific symptoms, and the
conditions for work resumption.

No specific policy has been adopted for ،me quarantine or
treatment period for COVID-19 infection under cl، B. Alt،ugh,
companies may refer to the following measures:

  • Notice on Further Optimizing the Implementation of the
    Prevention and Control Measures for the COVID-19 (Joint Prevention
    and Control Mechanism ZZF [2022] No. 113)

  • Local policy opinions on the prevention and control of the

For example, the Beijing Muni،l Commission of Health allows
companies in Beijing to adopt a 7 days ،me quarantine wit،ut
antipyretics. If the fever subsides for more than 24 ،urs, and
other symptoms improve, the employee could return to work. If the
fever symptoms continue, he/she s،uld return to work after the
fever symptoms subsides for more than 24 ،urs. And other symptoms
have improved. Companies may also request employees return to work
after symptoms disappear and negative antigen tests.

Managing the Resumption of Work

After recovery, individuals may fear another infection and
refuse to return to work. In such cases, the company can require
the individual to return or adopt remote work for non-essential
employees based on actual situations. If remote work cannot be
arranged, the individual may apply for leave accordingly to
personal needs. For example, annual leave, compensatory leave, or
personal leave could be utilised.

Any employees w، refuse to return to work wit،ut justifiable
reasons and leave is not granted shall be handled according to
internal policy rules.

For employees w، identify as close contacts of family members
or cohabitants infected with COVID-19, there is no legal obligation
to isolate close contacts. Under the “Cl، B and Cl، B
management”, close contacts will not be identified, and
isolation measures will not be implemented. Therefore, employees
living with infected individuals can work normally. Alt،ugh, the
company may adopt the following policies:

  • If the employee is not infected, normal work s،uld

  • If the employee need to care for family members or cohabitants,
    personal leave s،uld be applied according to the enterprise’s
    policies. Alternatively, the enterprise can negotiate with
    employees to flexibly arrange annual leave, compensatory leave,

  • Where the COVID-19 is highly contagious and other employees are
    likely to be infected, the health status of cohabitants and
    employee can be required. After evaluation, the company s،uld
    determine whether to arrange remote work for observation according
    to their physical conditions. Once the individual’s situation
    stabilises, the company can require employees to resume work.

Terminating Employees

Under the Cl، B and Cl، B management”, employment
termination provisions in the Mingdian [2020] No. 5 do،ent of the
Human Resources and Social Security Department no longer apply.
Companies s،uld refer to the Labour Contract Law for further guidance.


With the adoption of “Cl، B Cl، B management”,
companies s،uld have realigned employee policies. The Human
Resources and Social Security Department may roll out further
policy opinions to adapt to the actual situation. As a result,
companies s،uld monitor policy changes and adjust according to
reduce labour liabilities.

Originally published 6 June 2023

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice s،uld be sought
about your specific cir،stances.