The Working Conditions Decree has been temporarily amended in order to prevent or reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection at the workplace
The Working Conditions Decree contains rules relating to safety, health and wellbeing at the workplace. Article 3.2 of the Working Conditions Decree contains general requirements with which the workplace has to comply. These requirements are temporarily expanded in article 3.2a due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to this article, necessary measures and provisions must be taken to prevent or reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection at the workplace. Which measures and provisions need to be taken depends on what is considered necessary at the workplace in question. The employer must therefore assess the risks at the workplace.
The necessary measures and provisions in any case include:
- observing of sufficient hygienic regulations;
- providing effective information and education to employees on controlling COVID-19 at the workplace; and
- adequately monitoring compliance with the aforementioned required measures and provisions.
Of course, the RIVM's more general guidelines (washing hands, keeping a distance, etc.) also apply at the workplace. In addition to this, the explanatory memorandum to the Working Conditions Decree includes the following examples: (i) placing screens; (ii) indicating walking routes; (iii) limiting the number of people at the workplace; (iv) ventilating spaces; (v) disinfecting the workplace; (vi) disinfecting tools, and (vii) wearing facial protection or mouth mask.
A failure to comply with article 3.2a of the Working Conditions Decree will result in a finable offence.