Coronavirus

We understand that you have many questions and may be concerned about the Coronavirus and the impact on you at work. We want to help you as best we can during this uncertain time. Even if your question is not listed, please contact one of our locations near you, we are here for you!

Rules for the deployment of temporary employees under corona

If the obligation to continue to pay wages is excluded in a temporary employment contract, the following applies:

Phase A: “no work, no pay” for this we refer to article 22 paragraphs 1 to 4 of the ABU CLA. It is important that the exclusion from the obligation to continue to pay wages is included in writing in the temporary employment contract. If you do not have work, you do not have to continue to pay wages. However, the obligation remains with an on-call agreement. For more information, see the note under Phase B.

Phase B: the obligation to continue to pay wages can only be excluded if Phase A has not been used, or used for a maximum of 26 weeks, see article 22 paragraph 6 of the ABU CLA. This must be included in the temporary employment contract. The obligations of the on-call agreement also apply to these. See the notes below.

Note on-call contracts:
From 1 January 2020, the rules for on-call contracts from the WAB will apply. When the exclusion of the obligation to continue to pay wages is included in the employment contract, it is regarded as an on-call contract. Specific rules apply to this that must be taken into account. One of the rules is that the employer (employment agency) must change or withdraw a call at least 4 calendar days in advance. If you do this later, the wages must continue to be paid. Even if you are excluded from the obligation to continue to pay wages.

More information about the rules for an on-call agreement:
Phase A temporary employment contracts with agency clause then applies if the employer terminates the assignment – the temporary employment contract thus ends and there is no obligation to continue paying wages.

Temporary employment contracts where the obligation to continue to pay wages is not excluded:
The continued payment of wages applies to the agreed contract hours. If one cannot work because the company has closed, then the wages will have to be paid, as this is an employer’s risk. One can offer alternative suitable work. For more information about this, see articles 23 and 24 of the ABU CLA.

The GGD or the chairman of the safety region determines whether someone should be quarantined. If this is the case, the employer will have to continue to pay the wages, as this is an employer’s risk. When the obligation to continue to pay wages has been excluded, “no work, no wages” applies, see situation 1 for more information.

Fear of being infected by clients or colleagues may prevent temporary employees from coming to work. When this fear has no valid reason, try to allay the fear. If temporary employees still do not want to come to work without the consent of the employer, this counts as work refusal.

Payment of wages can then be stopped insofar as there is an obligation to continue payment of wages. For more information, see situation 1. It is important that the employee is warned that not showing up to work will have consequences.

To determine whether there is a valid reason for not showing up for work, we refer to the most up-to-date information from the relevant authorities such as the national government, GGD and RIVM.

In this situation, the normal rules for payment of wages in the event of illness apply. Specifically, article 25 of the ABU CLA applies. Temporary employees with an agreement in Phase A with an agency clause then applies in the event of illness, the assignment and thus the temporary work employment contract ends.

The temporary employee is therefore out of employment and is entitled to a sickness benefit. The private employment agency must supplement the sickness benefit.

When a temporary employee has a temporary employment contract without agency clause, the wages must continue to be paid for the duration of the contract in the event of illness. In the first year 90%, the second year 80% of the determined wage in the time period.

In the event that a school or childcare facility closes, causing the temporary employee to have to collect children urgently, this is regarded as emergency leave. The temporary employee must report this. This falls under Article 28 of the ABU CLA.

For Phase A with agency clause, the reservation for short-term absenteeism/special leave applies, insofar as this has been accrued. Temporary employees without an agency clause in their agency work employment contract will continue to receive their wages.

Emergency leave applies for the duration of the calamity. The duration is based on the time it takes to collect the child from school or childcare. Possibly also the next day if the temporary employee cannot find a replacement babysitter in the short term. If the temporary employee cannot find a babysitter, he/she will have to take vacation days or unpaid leave. This is always in consultation with the employer.

Schools and childcare are available for employees from healthcare, emergency services and other vital professions.

In case of illness of a child, partner or parent, a temporary employee may have to provide them with necessary care. In that case, he/she can take short-term care leave. Article 5: 1 of the Wazo (Work and Care Act) describes for whom this leave may be taken. This law applies to all employees. No exception is made to this.

Temporary employee are entitled to at least 70% of their wages, with the statutory minimum wage as a minimum. Maximum the maximum daily wage.

As an employee, one can take short-term care leave for a maximum of twice the working hours per week. If the temporary employee is the person who must provide the care, he/she is entitled to this leave. For more information, please visit the website of the Government of the Netherlands.

Frequently asked questions by employers

As an organization we are taking various measures. All to reduce the impact of the coronavirus. Some of these actions are:

  • Setting up an information page for customers with the most important questions and answers. It is also maintained.
  • We follow the instructions from RIVM and the national government. We’ve also initiated a continuity plan.
  • We share our plans and measures with our customers, employees and our temporary employees.
  • We have put together an internal crisis team that is proactively working to make ourselves resilient against the consequences of the coronavirus.
  • Where possible, employees of Wiertz Company and its labels work from home or in controlled environments.

As an employer, you have the duty to ensure that employees can work safely and healthily. Information and instructions must be given for this. For temporary employees, their employer is responsible for this. Also for providing a safe and healthy workplace.

You will find the most current measures that organizations can take via the RIVM website. For more information about the coronavirus and its consequences, you can also visit the websites of VNO-NCW, WVN and the Government of the Netherlands.

A sample letter can be found on the AWVN website, which can be sent to employees. This contains general information and advice about the virus.

As an employer, you can call in the health and safety service or the company doctor to check for corona. In addition, it is important to follow the current advice from the RIVM or the local GGD.

Health data is regarded as special personal data, which gives it extra protection. As an employer, you should not sit in the chair of a doctor by drawing conclusions about the health of employees. Examples of this are keeping track of holidays where employees have been or measuring and recording the temperature.

Employees can contact the company doctor or health and safety service. If they suspect an infection, they will contact the local GGD. He will take measures for the workplace in consultation with you.

It is up to all of us to prevent further contamination and spread. Therefore, always follow the advice of the RIVM and the GGD. Also in the workplace.

When an employee is infected, you as an employer have the obligation to deny them access to the workplace. This is necessary to guarantee a safe and healthy workplace.

If an employee returns from a risk area and shows symptoms of the virus, the RIVM advises not to allow them to enter the workplace for two weeks. We strongly recommend that you follow this advice. As far as possible, the employee may be asked to work from home.

The rules from, among other things, the GDPR are and will continue to be applied, however exceptional the situation may be. When an employee is ill due to the coronavirus, the Dutch Data Protection Authority policy rules apply. These contain information about what is and is not allowed with regard to employees’ illness.

If an employee is not (yet) sick, you may verbally ask employees in which area they have been on holiday and whether they have health problems. They are not obliged to answer this. Please note that no medical data may be collected or registered. Not even when an employee chooses to answer questions about his/her health. Not even when the employee shares this without being asked.

Doing preventive examinations yourself, such as taking a temperature, fever scan, etc. is not allowed. You can make the suggestion to call the doctor.

No, you cannot. It is true, however, that advising against in writing is possible. Also reporting that the consequences and risks can be for one’s own account. As an example: that no salary is paid when one enters quarantine.

Such measures are more permissible in the case of an orange (only necessary travel) or red (no travel) area, than with a yellow (safety risk) area. If an employee travels to a green (“safe”) area where the situation then changes and is quarantined, the employee is “simply” entitled to wages. An exception to this may be if the situation gradually changes and the employee refuses to follow your instruction to return.

The cabinet is supporting the business community with tens of billions due to the corona crisis. The measures will apply in any case for the next three months and if the crisis persists, the support measures will be extended.

View the most relevant economic measures here.

The Government of the Netherlands considers professional groups that have to keep society going and that demand continuous staffing “crucial professional groups”. In other words, the people who are needed to control an outbreak.

The rule applies to this target group: if one of the parents has a crucial profession, then the parents must arrange childcare themselves. If they cannot, childcare will still be arranged. It is not a requirement that both parents have a vital profession.

Currently, the following professional groups are seen as crucial:

  • Childcare
  • This also includes the production and transport of medicines and medical devices.
  • Teachers and staff needed for school. For example, for distance learning, childcare and exams.
  • Public transport
  • The food chain. To be considered broadly. Consisting of supermarkets, the supply of supermarkets, the processing industry and the transports of this industry. Also collecting products from farmers, delivering animal feed and other products from farmers. Workers’ access for harvest.
  • Fuel transport of gasoline, diesel, coal, oil, etc.
  • Transport of garbage and waste
  • Media and communication, which are necessary for informing society
  • Continuity of emergency services (police and defense have already been declared vital)
  • Necessary government processes (central government, province and municipality)
  • Defense

When we receive a sick report from employees, we inform them that a reporting obligation has been introduced. This means, if the conditions currently set by the RIVM are met, they must report to the GP (by telephone). In doing so we must take into account the privacy rules as described earlier.

Of course, we remind them all of their personal responsibility. Do you suspect an infection? Please contact your contact person within Wiertz Company. Then we can see together how we can best deal with the situation.

When new measures are announced or come into effect, we always follow the guidelines of the RIVM and the national government. This means, among other things, that employees should be able to work from home as much as possible. This should also apply to our temporary employees.

If this is not possible, we will discuss together which approach is most desirable, taking into account the guidelines. Please contact your contact person for this.

Contract agreements are leading at all times. So also in the case of a sick report, regardless of the situation. When the contract is inconclusive, a suitable solution is considered for each situation.

We would like to ask you to discuss this as soon as possible with your contact person at Wiertz Company. From there we can look at the impact of this.

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