Labour issues relating to novel coronavirus (version dated 9 January 2023)

1. What should an employee do if he/she is unable to work due to being infected with the novel coronavirus?
The employee should immediately notify the employer of his/her sickness so that the employer can make operational arrangements, and must submit to the employer a medical certificate to justify the absence from work due to sickness. If the employee fails to do so or if the justification of the absence is found to be false, such absence is considered unjustified and the employer has no obligation to pay wages.
In addition, under the Labour Relations Law, an employee who has completed the probationary period is entitled to six days of paid absence for sickness or accident in each calendar year. However, if a better agreement has been reached between both parties, the relevant agreement shall continue to be performed.

2. How should employers and employees make work arrangements to follow the current epidemic prevention measures?
In view of the health authorities’ adjustments to the epidemic prevention measures, in accordance with the relevant guidelines, in order to reduce the impact of the epidemic on the health of residents and the operation of organizations, both employers and employees should abide by the relevant guidelines and regulations and negotiate the work arrangements or the holiday arrangements in advance with mutual understanding to protect the health and safety of employees at work. Except in cases of employees’ absences from work, employees can provide work in accordance with the relevant guidelines; moreover, employers shall not impede the provision of work by the employees on the grounds of the employees’ infection.

3. Following the current epidemic prevention measures, what should be paid attention to when negotiating holiday arrangements, such as weekly rest or annual leave, with (resident and non-resident) employees?
In view of the prevention and control of the epidemic, employers and employees should negotiate the work arrangements or the holiday arrangements as early as possible.  When negotiating the arrangements for taking the weekly rest or annual leave, under the Labour Relations Law, if the arrangements for weekly rest or annual leave are unilaterally made by the employers, they are required to arrange the employees’ weekly rest at least 3 days in advance and arrange the employees’ annual leave period at least 30 days in advance.

4. Is it a work accident if a person is infected with the novel coronavirus while he/she is at work?
Pursuant to the Legal Regime on Compensation for Damage Arising from Work Accidents and Occupational Diseases, the general principle of a work accident is the injury caused at place of work and during working time.  Since the modes of transmission of the novel coronavirus are wide and there would be an incubation period from catching the virus to confirmation of infection, whether an employee is infected with the novel coronavirus by reason of work has to be investigated before a conclusion is reached.  The employee should immediately inform his/her employer and provide the relevant information if he/she believes his/her infection has been caused by reason of work, so that further investigation and analysis can be carried out by the Labour Affairs Bureau.

5. What should the employer do if the employee is infected with the novel coronavirus while the employee is at work?
The employer should notify the Labour Affairs Bureau in accordance with the provisions of the Legal Regime on Compensation for Damage Arising from Work Accidents and Occupational Diseases, and the relevant employee can also report to the Labour Affairs Bureau; follow-up actions and investigation shall be carried out by the Labour Affairs Bureau according to law.
Ways to report work accidents by employers:
1) On-line reporting:
2) By e-mail:
3) By fax: 2871 7771

6. In the current situation of the epidemic, enterprises’ operations are affected and (resident and non-resident) employees may not be able to provide work for their own reasons.  How to deal with it?  Can an agreement on taking no pay leave be concluded?
Employers and employees should understand each other in the light of actual circumstances and on the premise of cooperating with the MSAR Government’s implementation of epidemic prevention measures, they should negotiate in good faith on work arrangements to guarantee employees’ safety at work. No pay leave must be agreed upon by employers and employees and cannot be decided by either party.  When agreeing upon the no pay leave, both parties should specify the period of absence and other work arrangements in the light of actual circumstances and in accordance with good faith to facilitate both parties’ implementation of the agreement.  Since the epidemic situation fluctuates and is unpredictable, to protect the rights and interests of employers and employees and maintain harmonious labour relations, the period of no pay leave should be specified and in line with the actual situations of enterprises and employees.
©2016 Government of the Macao Special Administrative Region - Labour Affairs Bureau
Address: Avenida do Dr. Francisco Vieira Machado 221-279, Edifício Advance Plaza, Macau
Telephone: (853) 2856 4109    Fax: (853) 2855 0477    E-mail:

When browsing and using any services provided in this website, it means that the user has read and agreed with the "Statement on Collection of Personal Data" as well as the "Terms of Use and Disclaimer".