Updated 28 December 2021

English-language advice

Employers are responsible for the health and safety of their employees – even when working remotely. 

If you don’t speak Dutch, consider asking a Dutch-speaking employee to follow the latest developments. 

Useful English-language resources are:

We’ve used these and other resources to give a run down some of the best practices for employers.

Working from home

The government advises to employees to work from home if they can. If on site, employees should keep a safe distance from each other and offices and venues must be ensure a flow of air. If working from home is not possible, try to spread the working hours so employees can avoid rush hour travel and a crowded office. 

Face masks

Face masks are required in indoor public places, on public transport and at airports. You must provide face masks free of charge if your employees are legally obliged to wear them. You can also give employees the option of declaring the costs or you may cover the costs of face masks for your employees free of taxes.

Remember the basic precautions

As always, wash hands regularly, keep 1.5 metres distance, ventilate your space and test regularly (self tests can be bought at pharmacies and supermarkets). 

Do’s and don’ts for employers 

Working from home coronavirus lockdown Amsterdam (via Unsplash)

Do provide a comfortable and healthy workplace, wherever it is

No matter where your employees are working, you are responsible for providing them with a healthy workplace – so consider, for example, allowing them to take their office desks and chairs or monitors home with them.

Do encourage self-testing

To allow you to open up the workplace in a safer way, you can ask your employees to do a self-test on their own or under the supervision of a doctor or health professional even if they have no complaints. You may not make a coronavirus test mandatory.

Do take immediate action if an employee has coronavirus symptoms or tests positive

If an employee has a nasal cold, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, coughing, elevated temperature or sudden loss of smell or taste, they should stay at home. In case of a positive diagnosis, employers are required to initiate source and contact tracing, which may mean colleagues must self-isolate.

Do encourage your employee to check any testing and quarantine requirements after returning from a very high-risk country

A person can check what they need to prepare before they travel (back) to the Netherlands using this handy tool. In some cases, quarantine is mandatory if the traveller has returned from a very high risk country (this includes the UK since 22 December 2021), even if they are fully vaccinated. If your employee was abroad for work reasons and cannot work from home during quarantine, you must continue to pay their wages. However, if an employee plans to travel for non-work reasons to a very high risk country, advise them it will be their responsibility, in terms of time and costs, to follow any quarantine and testing requirements.

What you shouldn’t do

Don’t ask if an employee has symptoms of coronavirus if they call in sick

Your employee is not obliged to share medical details with you. For reasons of privacy, you are not allowed to ask, but you may ask your employee when they think they will be coming back to work.

Don't deduct pay if an employee must self-isolate

Do the Quarantine Check to check what's necessary regarding self-isolation, testing and contact tracing if a member of an employee's household falls ill. If your employee cannot work from home but must isolate, you must continue to pay them their wages. You cannot deduct leave hours unless you both agree to this.

Don't make vaccination compulsory

You may not make it compulsory for your employees to be vaccinated. You may ask your employee if they have been vaccinated for a valid reason, e.g. if they work with vulnerable people, but they are not required to answer. If you know that your employee has not been vaccinated, you may not prohibit them from working in the workplace. Read more about rules on vaccination and work (link in Dutch). 

Don’t forget you are responsible for the health and safety of your employees, so follow all the latest developments

Things can change fast, so stay on top of all the latest news. Check business.gov.nl for comprehensive information.

Read about the range of financial support packages for companies, including entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals, affected by the pandemic restrictions in Amsterdam.