Working from Home is the Norm Again!

Due to the increasing cases and hospital admissions in the Netherlands, working from home will become the norm again, at least temporarily, effective September 28th 2020 (for a period of three weeks).

Work from home as much as possible, unless there is no other option. If it is not possible to work from home, employers are called to spread working hours in order to avoid a crowded work floor and crowded situations during rush hour (public transport).

Does this mean that an employee has the full right to work from home? No, an employee must comply with the employer’s instructions. If, according to the employer, it is not possible for employees to work from home (because business operations are endangered), a Covid-19 protocol must apply in the workplace (Rb Gelderland ECLI: NL: RBGEL: 2020: 2954). In this case, the Gelderland District Court, based the decision on the employers argument that is was not possible to work from home without affecting the business operations and that there was a Covid-19 protocol present. If not, the decision would or could have been different.

If a contact investigation shows that the workplace is the source of contamination, the location can be closed for 14 days; in order to prevent contamination clusters in the workplace.

As an emoployer, if you decide to let your employees to work form home, please note the following:

  • Make agreements about working hours, work meeting times and output. Set realistic goals, and above all, stay in good contact with your employee.
  • Check whether the working environment of the employee at home is suitable and whether the working equipment used is meeting standards (cyber security, etc.), if not, fix it.
  • If necessary, change travel allowance into expense allowance.

Should you have any advice on this, please contact our colleague Amanda Brouwers.