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Coronavirus: information for employers with personnel in the Netherlands

To help you prepare for questions from your employees about the Coronavirus, we have collected information for you about possible precautions that you can take as an employer.

The latest information about the developments concerning the Coronavirus and precautions can be found on the official website of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM):

The latest information about the developments concerning the Coronavirus and precautions can be found on the official website of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM):

General guidelines for the prevention of infection with the Coronavirus

  • Ensure good personal hygiene, and do not come near sick people who have symptoms of flu.
  • Wash your hands and/or use disinfectant gel regularly.
  • Use paper handkerchiefs or cough or sneeze in the inside of an elbow. Wearing a paper mouth mask does not help against infection with the virus.
  • Regularly clean hard surfaces (desk top, light switches, door handles, keyboard) extra carefully. Ensure good ventilation of the workplaces.
  • Try not to touch your face and mouth with your hands.
  • Do not go to areas where the Coronavirus occurs. If there is no other way, avoid large groups of people there and do not come near farms and wild animals.
  • Prepare food with due care (especially in risk areas) and ensure that food is well-baked and well-cooked.
  • It is advisable to make it a rule in the workplace that shaking hands and other direct contact is avoided as much as possible.

Coronavirus & holiday applications

Just like other countries, the Netherlands can issue a negative travel advice, for example because a country has been designated as a risk area. It is wise to draw the attention of your employees with holiday plans to such negative travel advice. On the one hand to avoid infection; on the other hand to prevent them from being unable to return to work in time, for example because they have been in contact with sick people in the risk areas and for that reason may have to avoid contact with others for up to two weeks.

It should be noted that pursuant to their general duty of care, an increasing number of companies go further than the official policy, for example by allowing employees who have been in a risk area or have been in contact, directly or indirectly, with an infected person to work from home as a preventive measure, even if they do not have any symptoms themselves.

Negative travel advice is published on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where you can even download an app that keeps you informed of up-to-date travel advice: https://www.nederlandwereldwijd.nl/reizen/reisadviezen?utm_campaign=buza-wijsopreis-01-2020&utm_medium=search&utm_source=google&utm_content=ros-search-alg&utm_term=text-multi-device-cpc-performance (currently in Dutch only).

There is bound to be some discussion about who is responsible for being unable to work; in this regard, the question of within whose control this inability to work falls is relevant. In any case, properly informing the employees on your policy in this matter beforehand helps. The above information may be of use for this purpose.

Coronavirus & the (company) doctor

Employees who have been in a risk area must closely monitor whether they develop symptoms of flu, such as coughing or sneezing. It is also wise to measure the body temperature regularly.

In the unhoped-for event that employees fall ill, they have to stay at home and contact their GP by telephone at first instance. It is not wise to invite them to the consultation hour of the company doctor. The Dutch College of General Practitioners (NHG) has adopted the guideline that an assessment of the complaints is made by telephone at first, to prevent an infected patient from spreading the Coronavirus in the waiting room.

If you as an employer are in need of advice on preventive measures, feel free to contact our occupational physician.

Support from the government for wage costs & taxes

On March 18, 2020, a new package of measures was announced for companies with employees in the Netherlands. Below the link to information in English: https://business.gov.nl/the-coronavirus-and-your-company/

We are working hard translating the information into a working method & explanation (in Dutch & English) for our customers and preparing to help you with this. Please keep an eye on our website.

A scheme for temporary employment because of force majeure resulting from the Coronavirus also applies in Belgium.

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Since 1972, Interfisc has offered international HR & Payroll solutions in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Italy. We do this from our offices in the Netherlands and Belgium, and with an international team of around 45 committed and caring employees. 

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