Is a doctor's visit during working hours (legally) permitted?
5 September 2019
Every employee in the Netherlands will sooner or later have to deal with it: a visit to the dentist or a doctor's visit during working hours. You prefer to keep your employer out, but in some cases you are dependent on the availability of the specialist in question. After all, doctors or dentists often work during the day. And let that be exactly when you are also at work. If you request a visit to the dentist or doctor, can your employer refuse? We will update you completely in this blog.
What does the law say about a doctor's visit * during working hours?
In the event of a medical emergency, sick days are often used. In a sudden or urgent situation where you have to take time off, the legally regulated emergency leave often applies. This emergency leave does not apply to an already planned dental visit for your six-monthly check-up, but really to sudden situations. Check your collective labor agreement, employment contract or personnel manual to be sure.
Please note: By law, pregnant women must be given the opportunity to undergo necessary pregnancy examinations.
Occasional doctor visits
If you want time off for a doctor's visit, whether incidental or periodic, you will need to discuss this with your employer. After all, no concrete agreements have been made in law about a doctor's visit during working hours. Agreements can be or can be made in your collective labor agreement, employment contract or personnel manual. Think of agreements such as: 'How often can I have a doctor's visit during working hours?', 'Do I have to make up for the missed hours because of a doctor's visit during working hours?' and 'Do I have to prove that I had a doctor's visit in order to get my salary paid?'
It is often stated in the collective labor agreement, personnel manual or employment contract that such an appointment should be planned in your free time as much as possible.
What if nothing has been agreed or recorded about doctor's appointments during work?
If nothing has been agreed or recorded about doctor's appointments during working hours, you as an employee can make mutual agreements with your employer. We then look at what can be expected from a good employer and a good employee. For example, an employer must give his employee the opportunity to visit a doctor during working hours. An employee can be expected to plan the visit as favorably as possible (at the start or end of the day is often the best solution).
In addition, the necessity can also be looked at the number of leave hours of the employee and whether the number of doctor visits is relevant and whether the medical complaints are related to the employee's work. (Your collective labor agreement or employment contract may also include agreements about leave.)
In short, if you have to go to the doctor, first check your collective labor agreement, personnel manual or employment contract for any agreements. If there are no agreements in this, it is wise to make your own agreements with your employer to avoid misunderstandings.
If you experience problems or if you are unable to see a doctor, please contact us. We are happy to help you. You can reach us on 0345 - 851 851 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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* Where reference is made to a doctor's visit during working hours,
of course also an appointment with the physiotherapist or a visit to the dentist during working hours