Financial support for testing employees without symptoms
14 April 2021
The Dutch government has introduced temporary financial support for employers that want to have employees without symptoms preventively tested if working from home is not possible. In this blog we briefly discuss the possibilities of (rapid) testing of employees on location and give an overview of the temporary financial support from the government.
Testing employees on location
Preventive testing of employees without symptoms can help detect infections in an early stage and prevent outbreak situations. For this reason, employers can offer their employees a (rapid) coronavirus test in the workplace. However, the employer cannot require the employee to take a coronavirus test. This is based on the employee's right to physical integrity.
In addition, based on the Dutch Privacy Act (AVG), the employer may not process the employee's medical data. This means that the employer may not himself test the employee for corona. This may only be done by a (company) doctor.
If the (company) doctor performs the corona test on the employee, the result may only be shared with the employee. The employer may not ask the employee or the (company) doctor to share the test result. However, the (company) doctor can let the employer know whether the employee is fit for work or not.
Temporary financial support
The government has introduced financial support (starting on 25 March, 2021) for employers who want to have their employees without symptoms tested preventively and frequently. The financial support is meant for employers whose employees cannot work at home due to the nature of their work and, through no fault of their own, find themselves in work situations where 1.5 meter distance is difficult to maintain.
The financial support applies to so-called "supervised self-pickup" and antigen rapid testing. The testing takes place under the supervision of a BIG-registered doctor or occupational health and safety service. The occupational health and safety service or BIG-registered doctors can apply for the financial support. They then carry out the tests at the request of the employer. Per test taken they receive an allowance of € 20 excluding VAT.
The financial support is temporary. The ultimate goal is the use of rapid self-tests to enable safer workspaces. Therefore, the support runs until 31 May, 2021, with an one-month extension option.
Do you have questions about testing employees or about the government's financial support? If so, please contact one of our lawyers.