Updated 2 May 2022
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 guidance:
Useful English-language resources are:
- Business.gov.nl for continually updated information for companies
- It also has a specific pages on rules for shops, hospitality, contact-based professions and tourism businesses and events
- RIVM website, for updates on the pandemic in the Netherlands
- IND website, for issues around immigration.
We’ve used these and other resources to give a run down some of the best practices for employers.
Working from the office and home
While office working has returned, the Dutch government has asked that employers make agreements with staff to allow working from home to continue, and employers pay particular attention to staff who are concerned about their health.
If an employee tests positive for Covid-19
If an employee has symptoms, they should stay home and do a test. If they test positive, they should self-isolate and, if possible, work from home. Employers are required to initiate source and contact tracing, which may mean colleagues must self-isolate. 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.
Your employee is not obliged to share medical details with you, but you may ask your employee when they think they will be coming back to work.
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).
Travelling and quarantine
A person can check what they need to prepare before they travel (back) to the Netherlands using this handy tool. 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.
Face masks are required at airports and on aircraft. 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).