Important information about corona and quarantine in the Netherlands
- If an employee travels abroad, the travel is at the employee’s own risk. You should only go abroad when it is necessary and if you are going abroad this will possibly have consequences for your wage.
The employee is obliged to undergo a 10-day quarantine after returning to the Netherlands. The employer is not obliged to pay wages for this quarantine.
Note: you are not obliged to tell your employer where you go on holiday. The advice from the Dutch government in November 2020 is not to go abroad. It is reasonable from the employer to ask you where you go on holiday, because the employer wants to make sure that he is complying to his duty of care when it comes to taking care of a health and safe work environment. The advice from the government is not to go abroad, but the employer cannot oblige you not to go abroad. As a good citizen you have the responsibility to oblige to the government’s advice on this in order to not infect other citizens.
- Wages are NOT paid if the employee is unable to work from home AND:
- has a contract with a temporary clause (uitzendbeding)
The hirer (inlener) will most probably end your contract and also your contract with the temporary agency ends. The employer will report you to UWV when you are sick.
- has a contract without a temporary clause, but with the exception of the obligation to continue to pay the fee (uitsluiting van de loondoorbetalingsplicht); additionally: such exclusion may be in the contract for a maximum of 6 months!
- has a contract with a temporary clause (uitzendbeding)
- The same rules as in point 2 apply when, for example, an employee has to go into quarantine because another family member / household member is sick or if there was contact (at least 15 minutes closer than 1.5 meter) with a person infected with the virus. In all these cases (1st, 2nd, 3rd), the employer does NOT report the employee for sickness. If an employee is not entitled to wages during the quarantine period, he may, for example, use his vacation days.
- Some employees say their employer imposes a quarantine on them, even though it is not compulsory. The quarantine obligation is a government recommendation. All employers must follow this recommendation as they have a legal obligation to create a safe and healthy workplace. If an employer fails to comply with this law and exposes other employees to health risks (by not requesting quarantine), he may be fined or have to close the company. It is, however, the responsibility of the employee and every citizen to read the government’s recommendations regarding corona and quarantine: https://www.rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19 . If the employer does not comply with governmental recommendations, it can even be reported to the labor inspectorate: https://www.inspectorateszw.nl/contact/complaints-tips-notifications-and-reports
- There are three situations when you need to go into quarantine: because the employer is demanding this from you, because a government institution is demanding this (GGD/municipality) or because you are doing it on your own initiative following the governments recommendations. In all situations you have to get paid your wage while you are in quarantine, see the information above for exceptions.
- The employer can demand from you to go in quarantine. This is because the employer has the responsibility to take care of a safe and healthy work environment. The employer is responsible for any damage that will be the result of him not complying to his duty of care. This means that the employer can take measures to comply to his duty of care, including demanding from people to go in quarantine if that will prevent other employees from getting covid-19. The employer has to pay you your wage while you are in quarantine, see the information above for exceptions. Note: the employer cannot test you himself on covid-19. This needs to be done by a (company)doctor.
- The GGD can demand from you to go into quarantine: when you have been tested positively or people from your household have been tested positively, you have to follow the governments recommendations and the GGD will demand from you to go into quarantine. The employer has to pay you your wage while you are in quarantine, see the information above for exceptions.
- Also in other situations that you might be infected you have to follow the governments recommendations. If you go in quarantine because you are following the governments recommendations, the employer has to pay you the wage during the quarantine, see the information above for exceptions.
Note: if you report sick at your employer because you have symptoms of covid-19 or you have been tested positively on covid-19 you are not obliged to tell the employer. This is because the employer is not allowed to ask you details on your sickness when you report sick. He can ask you when you expect to be available again to work. It would be reasonable though to communicate on this with your employer, in order to take measures to not infect other people at your workplace.
6. The employer reports the employee for sickness and pays sick pay according to the contract (or reports to UWV) only if the employee is actually sick and has symptoms. Please note the employer cannot dispute the sickness and must accept the sick report from the employee. If the employer has doubts whether the employee is actually ill, he can report it to the company doctor / ARBO so that he can take appropriate steps.
7. An employer cannot oblige an employee to take a corona test, although sometimes such a request may be justified in order for the employer to provide a safe and healthy working environment. An employee can always refuse to do such a test. If the employer asks an employee to take a test, the employer should also pay for it. This regards, of course, testing people without symptoms.
8. Taking the corona test does not instantly release you from the quarantine obligation!