Tips & tricks coronavirus at work

  1. Risk assessment. Employers have a duty of care towards their employees and are required to take steps to comply with their obligations regarding workplace health and safety. Employers must carry out a risk assessment and consider what measures they should take to control the coronavirus related risks specific to their company. We advise to keep a close eye on the latest developments (website National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM).
  2. Measures. The Dutch government has not yet arranged for work place specific measures. However, Dutch law says that, in general, employers must protect health and safety of their employees and provide for a safe place of work. If there is a risk of employees possibly contracting the virus, employers should consider what measures they should take to control that risk. For instance, business travel can be reduced, or meetings can be conducted via video link instead of in person. We recommend monitoring government travel advice (website Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
  1. Calling in sick. If an employee with coronavirus related symptoms is attending the workplace after having visited a high-risk area, he should be asked to call in sick and to contact his family doctor. Employer may even instruct the employee to go home, if necessary. It is recommended to ask the GGD for advice if the employee has come to work during the incubation period.
  1. Working from home. Fewer employees attending the workplace will naturally correspond to a reduction in the spread of infections. Employers may therefore consider facilitating employees to work from home or allowing them to work remotely where possible. It is not mandatory to approve an employee’s request to work from home for the sole reason of fear of contamination. Employers should take their employees’ concerns seriously, make case-by-case assessments and discuss what causes their worries.
  1. Salary payment. If an employee is not working as he has failed a coronavirus test, he will probably be incapacitated for work. The employee will then be entitled to at least 70% continued salary payment. If the employer sends an employee home without contamination having been established, the employee is in principle entitled to 100% salary payment.

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