Employers and corona

This information is provided by

Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, SZW

Most corona measures put in place by the government have been removed. But make sure you observe the rules for protecting your employees' medical records. Did you know, for instance, that privacy legislation forbids you to register whether or not employees are vaccinated?

Restrictions lifted

On 15 March, the government announced the relaxation of the final corona restrictions in the Netherlands. Read what the rules are as of 23 March in the article The coronavirus and your company.

Work from home guidance removed

The advice to work from home was removed on 15 March 2022.

Tips for working from home

You are responsible for good working conditions. This is also true when your employees have to work from home. Think of lending an office chair or monitor from your office for the time being. Find a practical guide on working from home on Arboportaal, a website by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.

Tax exemption for home offices

The cabinet has introduced a specific tax exemption for these home office costs as of 1 January 2022. This allows you to reimburse your employees for home office costs tax-free. Read more.

Your employee falls ill

If your employee calls in sick, you cannot ask why. Not even to inquire if they have symptoms of the coronavirus. It is up to your employee to decide if they want to tell you. The company doctor or the health and safety agency are the only ones allowed to ask for medical data, if they have a valid reason to do so. The company doctor is not allowed to share this information with you.

Continue to pay wages during isolation

Does your employee have to isolate due to a positive corona test, even if they have no symptoms? And is it impossible for them to work from home? You have to continue to pay their wages. You are not allowed to deduct leave hours, unless your employee and you agree to this.

No compulsory testing for your employees

You are not allowed to demand that your staff take a corona test. You can have your employees do a self-test on their own or under the supervision of a doctor or health professional. Even if they have no complaints. This allows you to open up the workplace in a safer way.

No compulsory vaccination for your employees

You may not make vaccination compulsory for your employees. Nor may you ask for a vaccination certificate, because of your employee's privacy.

Asking your employees if they are vaccinated

You are allowed to ask your employees whether or not they have been vaccinated. You must have a valid reason for asking. For example, if they work with vulnerable persons. You must also have a plan for how to deal with employees who are not vaccinated. Or with employees who refuse to answer the question.
Your employees do not have to reply to questions on their vaccination status. Nor may you register if an employee has been vaccinated, for privacy reasons. Read more about the rules on vaccination and the workplace on Rijksoverheid (in Dutch).

Forcing your employees to take leave days

You cannot force your employees to take leave days, even if you have less work for them due to the corona crisis. You can discuss it with them. The employee decides if they want to take leave or not.

Withholding or delaying holiday allowance

You are not allowed to withhold your employees’ holiday allowance, or to delay paying holiday allowance. You and your employees can come to an arrangement together. If you do, you have to lay them down in writing, for instance as part of a plan to keep your company afloat.

Your employee travels abroad

You cannot forbid your employee to travel or take a holiday abroad. Your employee does have to return in time. Does your employee have to self-isolate? You must continue to pay wages, if they can work from home.

If they cannot work from home, you do not have to pay them wages for the days they miss. Point this out to your employees. Your employee can take extra days off to cover the isolation period, if you agree to this.

Cancelling leave when a travel advice is adjusted

If your employee has to break off a holiday in a country for which the travel advice has shifted from yellow to orange or red, and then has to self-isolate, they cannot simply decide to cancel their leave days. You have to give permission for this; you can also demand that they do take the allotted leave – for instance, if they cannot work from home.

Form for reporting an unsafe workplace or fraud

The Netherlands Labour Authority website offers a corona complaints form in several languages (English, Polish, German, Dutch, and Romanian) that individuals and businesses can use to report a breach or corona safety rules in the workplace, or to report suspected fraud involving corona financial schemes.

Lending personnel

Do you have less work for your employees? You can use the exchange programme NLWerktDoor! (The Netherlands keeps on working) to lend employees to businesses that are looking for staff. Logistics or care companies, for example.

The platform acts as matchmaker for unemployed persons and businesses with job vacancies. You can also lend employees to companies that can use extra hands.

Temporary change of work

You are allowed to ask your employees to do different work for a time. You and the employees involved must be in agreement about this.

Not renewing your employee’s contract

You may not want to, or be able to, renew an employee’s contract. For instance, because it is a fixed-term contract, or your employee has been off sick for a long time. You do not have to renew a fixed-term contract, regardless of whether the employee in question is off sick or not. A fixed-term contract ends on the date stated in the contract. If the contract is a permanent one, it depends on the circumstances and duration of the contract whether or not you can dismiss your employee. Is your employee ill? Check carefully whether or not you are allowed to dismiss them.

This information is provided by

Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, SZW