Sick during the corona crisis? You should pay attention to this
to April 15, 2020
The government's guideline is clear: do you suffer from mild health complaints? Then stay at home. People in crucial occupational groups and vital processes have to stay at home if they also have a temperature of above 38 degrees. Only then can we all stop the spread of the corona virus. But what if you can't work from home; do you have to call in sick with a mild cold? And what should you do if your employer still wants you to work?
Mild complaints? Stay at home!
The government has advised everyone in the Netherlands - including you and your employer - to work from home as much as possible in the coming period. Do you have one or more mild health complaints? Then you have to stay at home. Mild health complaints are:
- to sneeze
- sore throat
- running nose
- light cough
- increase to 38 degrees
Do you work in a crucial professional group or vital process? Then it is important that you keep working, provided you do not have complaints such as a cold, sore throat and cough, in combination with a temperature above 38 degrees. Are you unsure about your complaints? Then consult with your employer or company doctor.
This is how you report sick
Do you have to stay at home and are you unable to do your work as a result? Then consult with your employer whether there is other work that can be done remotely. Isn't that possible? Then you have to report sick. Do this according to the usual absenteeism protocol. Even now your employer is not allowed to ask you just anything. This way you do not have to legally tell what your complaints are. Nevertheless, we urgently advise you to let your employer know that you have the corona virus: he can then take precautions if necessary. For example, by asking colleagues with whom you have had direct contact to work from home preventively.
Required to work
We understand that some employers oblige their employees to come to work, even if they have mild health problems. This is not allowed, because it goes against the government's corona measures, but also because your boss then behaves like a bad employer. At most, he may call you to see the company doctor: he or she is the only one who can determine whether you are healthy enough to work. Your employer is legally obliged to provide a safe and healthy workplace. If he lets someone work who may be infected, he puts colleagues at risk.
However, it will not often happen that your employer explicitly obliges you to come to work when you are sick. It is more likely that an employer will put employees under pressure when they discuss minor health complaints by telephone. For example by saying that there is a lot of work, that many colleagues are already ill or that 'we all have to do it together in these times. Even then, don't feel burdened when you stay at home: your health - and that of your colleagues, customers, patients and even your employer - comes first. Are you sure you shouldn't work? Then just report sick.
Questions about this article? Do you want more information about corona and your work? Or you can do you need some help, advice or support from our experienced lawyers when talking to your employer? Do not hesitate to contact us. We are available every working day from 8.00 a.m. to 18.00 p.m., via firstname.lastname@example.org and 0345 851 963.