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As an employer in the Netherlands, you must seek the support of a health and safety expert (either by employing a health and safety officer or by hiring a health and safety agency) 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)
Qualified health and safety
It is up you as employer how you organise the health and safety support for your employees. Whichever option you choose, the health and safety officer or agency must be have the proper qualifications (in Dutch). The same applies to health and safety officers in tailormade schemes (in Dutch).
The certification of your health and safety expert must be carried out by a certified organisation or 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. If the employee is in doubt about the doctor’s opinion, this person has the right to ask a second opinion from a different independent company doctor.
Since 1 July 2017, the Working Conditions Act has stipulated that agreements between health and safety officers and their employers are subject to minimum requirements. This is called the basic contract (in Dutch), in which 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 (in Dutch) As of 1 July 2018, failure to meet the minimum requirements could result in a fine from the Health and Safety Inspectorate.
Read more about the new Health and Safety Act (in Dutch).