Coronavirus and work in the Netherlands

Important information about the Coronavirus for migrant workers in the Netherlands

1) Perhaps you are out of work due to the Coronavirus and may have to return to your home country. Before leaving, review the conditions of your employment contract, and make sure what your rights are.

In the Netherlands, your employer has an obligation to provide you with a safe working environment (eg, sufficient handkerchiefs and soap). Your employer should also tell you about the symptoms of Coronavirus. In the event that you feel ill, your employer may refer you to the company’s medical service. If you have symptoms of Coronavirus, your employer may deny you access to the workplace. You can contact the local doctor (“huisarts”) by phone and tell him what his symptoms are.

My employer has requested reduced work time. What does this mean to me as an employee? Your employer may have requested reduced work time from the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, if this is granted the UWV is paying the agency. Your employer will pay you the full salary, which is a WW supplement. Then nothing changes for you. You should not take action or request any benefits.

Before traveling to your home, check the latest guidelines given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the websites of your Country of origin. You can find recommendations on which transport to use, or the opening hours at the borders of Europe. Search in google the web page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

2) You are sick (in isolation)
Normal sickness rules apply. The consequences depend on your employment contract:

In the case of contracts with an agency clause, you are registered with the UWV. The determines if you are entitled to sickness benefits. The temp agency must supply a percentage of this benefit.

For contracts without a temporary work clause, your employer must pay you in case of illness. One day waiting period. The RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and Environment) has warned the Dutch government that additional measures need to be taken in the Netherlands to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

Watch her video about the virus.

Read more about Coronavirus and Health.

3) Safety at work
Everyone in the Netherlands has been recommended to work from home, if possible.
If you have direct contact with people at work, that is, face to face, follow the instructions given by the RIVM regarding hygiene, and keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from other people.

4) If you are undocumented and face the Coronavirus
We recommend that undocumented workers negotiate with their employers that the payment be according to what is agreed in their working hours. By law you have the same rights as any other worker in the Netherlands. Recommendations:

Explain to your employer the difficulty of your situation: if you don’t work, you won’t have money. Maintain security measures in accordance with the RIVM.

If you are sick, you are entitled to sick pay.

If you are not sick and your job has been canceled by your employer, you also have the same continuation pay rights as any other worker.

Article elaborated by Fairwork NU (Organization that watches over Workers’ Rights in the Netherlands)

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