Topics concerning Covid-19 testing and EU Covid-19 certificates raise a number of questions for employers in the private sector in Croatia. Generally, an EU digital Covid-19 certificate or testing is still only mandatory for employees and visitors of public or heath care institutions (certain exceptions may apply). Whereas for private entrepreneurs, it remains only a recommendation.
Below, we answer the most common questions for employers in the context of employment and data privacy laws.
1. Can employers in Croatia introduce mandatory Covid-19 testing? Who should pay for it?
- Yes, employers can introduce mandatory testing.
- In accordance with a recent decision and an opinion of the Croatian authorities, employers may introduce Covid-19 testing as a health and safety measure and require employees (and other visitors) to get regularly tested in order to enter the business premises.
- As an alternative to the testing, employers may provide an option for employees (and other visitors) to present a valid EU digital Covid-19 certificate or other relevant proof on a voluntary basis.
- The cost of Covid-19 testing related to performance of work should be borne by the employer.
2. Which requirements must be met by employers in order to introduce and carry out mandatory Covid-19 testing?
- Consult a health and safety specialist.
- Adopt an internal decision on mandatory Covid-19 testing and as an alternative, provide an option for employees (and other visitors) to present a valid EU digital Covid-19 certificate or other relevant proof on a voluntary basis.
- Adopt appropriate data privacy documentation and observe requirements under the applicable data privacy laws (e.g. conduct a legitimate interest assessment, adopt appropriate privacy notices and observe the data minimisation principle by processing only necessary data).
- Regularly monitor new Covid-19 orders and decisions (as internal documents would likely need to be amended in line with the legislative changes and new decisions of the local authorities).
3. How can employers carry out mandatory Covid-19 testing?
- In an arrangement with or at the authorised healthcare institution/ laboratory, or with their own resources before employees/visitors enter the business premises.
- If performed with their own resources, a negative test may not be used/serve as the basis for the issuance of the EU digital Covid-19 certificate.
4. Can employers visually inspect EU digital Covid-19 certificates?
- Yes, as an alternative to mandatory Covid-19 testing introduced by the employer and as long as the individual provides the information on a voluntary basis.
- For applicable employment and data privacy requirements, see question #2.
5. Can employers store employees’ EU digital Covid-19 certificate data?
- Yes, in order to facilitate mandatory Covid-19 testing of employees and subject to the employees’ explicit consent in accordance with the applicable privacy laws.
- There should be no consequences for employees for not providing consent.
- For other applicable employment and data privacy requirements, see question #2.