As an employer, you can make use of coronavirus self-tests for your employees. Your employees will be able to self-test for coronavirus. For instance, if they cannot work from home. There are strict requirements in place for the use of self-tests for employees.
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Taking a self-testYour employees can take the test themselves, preferably at home. The presence of a BIG-registered physician or other care professional is no longer required. The test result is valid for 48 hours.
Not all self-tests have been approvedYou can buy several self-tests online. Not all available self-tests have been approved by the government. Manufacturers must apply for a special dispensation to be allowed to market their antigen tests as self-tests. Rijksoverheid.nl offers a list of approved self-tests (in Dutch).
Working from home still the normSelf-tests make it possible to safely open more workplaces. The urgent advice remains to work from home as much as possible.
Financial support for supervised self-testsThe government wants employers to provide self-tests for their employees. To stimulate this, it set up the scheme for frequent preventive testing. Under this scheme, you can get financial support for purchasing self-tests. Condition for application is that the self-tests are supervised by a BIG-registered physician or care professional. The scheme runs until and including 31 May.
No obligation to self-test for coronavirusUnder no circumstances may you demand from your employees that they take a self-test. The employee must take the test of their own free will. Also, you may not forbid employees who refuse to take a self-test access to the workplace. You are allowed to send an employee who shows symptoms home, and urge them to contact the GGD to take a test. You have to provide a safe work environment for your employees.
Self-tests not 100% reliableSelf-test results are not 100% reliable. A positive result most likely means your employee has contracted coronavirus. But your employee needs to take a PCR test at the GGD to make sure.
Nor does a negative test result give you a 100% certainty that your employee is not infected. Does your employee have corona-related symptoms, but a negative test result? You may refuse them entry to the workplace.