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As an employer in the Netherlands, you must seek the support of a health and safety expert to deal with:
- illness of an employee (reducing absenteeism)
- medical examinations for new employees
- voluntary periodic occupational health examinations (PAGO) or periodical medical examinations (PMO)
- access to a company doctor
- a risk assessment and evaluation (RI&E)
A company doctor can help you with the first 4 tasks. To draw up an RI&E you need the help from an expert.
For more information on the rules around illness and medical examinations you can consult the Working Conditions Decree.
Qualifications health and safety support
It is up to you as employer how you organise the health and safety support for your employees. You can either employ a health and safety officer or hire a health and safety agency. Whichever option you choose, the health and safety officer or agency must have the proper qualifications (in Dutch). The same applies to health and safety officers in tailormade schemes.
The certification of your health and safety expert must be carried out by a certified organisation (certificerende instellingen, CI’s, in Dutch).
Right to a second opinion
If an employee is ill, this person has the legal right to consult the company doctor. Is the employee in doubt about the doctor’s opinion? Then the employee has the right to ask for a second opinion from a different, independent company doctor. As an employer you must pay for these expenses.
The Health and Safety Act specifies that agreements between health and safety officers and their employers are subject to minimum requirements. This is called the basic contract (in Dutch). In this contract the rights and duties of the employer, the health and safety officer and company doctor are laid down. Employers are, however, at liberty to include extra duties in consultation with their health and safety officers. This is called the basic plus contract. Failure to meet the minimum requirements could result in a fine from the Health and Safety Inspectorate.
Read more about the Health and Safety Act (in Dutch).