Corona case law: a short anthology from 2021

Corona case law", an upcoming area in 2021. In this article we briefly discuss the most important judgments of the past year concerning of Covid-19.

Mouth mask discussion
In March of this year, the Subdistrict Court granted the employer's request to dissolve the employment contract on the grounds of a disrupted working relationship. It concerns an employee who refuses to wear a mouth mask. However, the employer has to pay a fair compensation to the employee: after the employee had declared that he would wear a mouth mask from now on, the employer did not take his responsibility to restore the mutual relations. Read it here.

More mouth mask discussion
The Subdistrict Court dissolves the employment contract with an employee who refuses to wear a mouth mask during her work. The ground for dismissal was again a disrupted working relationship. You can read our extensive article on this case here. The full judgment can be found here.

Statements on LinkedIn about the employer’s vaccination policy
An employee of a care institution for the elderly uses LinkedIn to express negative views about the vaccination policy of her employer. She invoked her freedom of speech in doing so. The employer took a different view and asked the Subdistrict Court to dissolve the employment contract on the grounds that the employee was culpable. The Subdistrict Court agreed with the employer: also in the employment relationship, the right to freedom of expression is not unlimited. This is elaborated on in the Herbai judgment of the European Court of Human Rights. More information on this case can be found in our earlier article. The judgment itself can be found here.

In the office with a cold
An employee arrived at work with a cold and did not go home, despite being advised to do so by several colleagues. The next day, the employee reported sick and, two days later, it appeared that he had tested positive for the corona virus. At the request of the employer, the Subdistrict Court ruled that there were sufficient grounds to dissolve the employment contract. This is because the working relationship has been disrupted to such an extent that the employer cannot be expected to allow the working relationship to continue. You can read all facts and the judge's opinion here.

Compulsory surrender of holidays due to corona?
The employer requested all employees to take at least half of the holidays before 30 June 2020, in view of the situation resulting from Covid-19. However, the Subdistrict Court did not follow this request: Covid-19 is no basis to oblige an employee to surrender holidays. Read the full judgment here.

Corona crisis as a business economic reason for dismissal
This case concerns two employees of the Rotterdam Zoo who were dismissed by the UWV for business economic reasons. The employees filed a case with the Subdistrict Court and applied for reinstatement of their employment contract. However, they were unsuccessful: the economic circumstances resulting from the corona crisis forced the employer to make jobs redundant. There is no question of outsourcing work. Our previous article on the topic. You can find this judgment here.

Concluding remarks
2021 was an eventful year in all respects. The SPEE advocaten & mediation team wishes you a happy, successful and above all healthy 2022! In the new year we will once again be ready to advise and assist you. We hope to see you then!

SPEE advocaten & mediation Maastricht