The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has established a scheme that provides financial support to employers to have employees tested for corona. The main purpose is to increase safety in the workplace. Initially, the scheme is intended only for companies and organizations where working from home is not possible.
Those who can, work at home. For organizations where working from home is impossible and keeping 1.5 meters away is difficult, there are several options for facilitating preventive testing for employees.
Preventive testing means testing people for corona without suspicion of contamination. Workers without complaints or with a known infection in their environment can be preventively tested by means of a quick test or a self-test. The advice is to do this twice a week. The aim: to identify infections as quickly as possible and thus create a safer working environment when working at home is impossible and keeping 1.5 meters distance is difficult.
Rapid testing at your own location
You can set up a testing facility at the workplace for preventive testing of employees yourself, with employers in the neighborhood or with a commercial partner. Whatever form you choose, any testing facility that uses rapid testing must at all times comply with the guidelines and standards as drawn up by the RIVM.
Testing is crucial to containing the coronavirus. In the workplace, it not only ensures greater safety, but also earlier detection of the virus. Working from home is and will remain the norm for now, but it is not always possible for everyone. Testing is now an option for companies where the nature of the work requires people to physically interact, such as distribution companies, manufacturing plants or public transportation. It is also possible to set up a testing facility jointly, for example in a business park. Incidentally, frequent testing on the shop floor does not mean that the 1.5 meter distance and other measures can be abandoned.
Companies that want to have their employees tested can use the website werkgeverstesten.nl. This website is an initiative of VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland and offers employers a practical tool to test employees in a responsible and safe way. To find out exactly what is involved in testing, you can download the ‘Toolkit for setting up a test site for antigen tests’ from the website here.
Companies can only have the testing done under the supervision of a company doctor or occupational health and safety service. The financial arrangement can only be applied for through an occupational health and safety service or company doctor. They can send a collective invoice to VWS once a month for the quick tests carried out. After approval, companies receive a fixed fee. For more information about the (application procedure of) the financial compensation, you can look here on the website of the central government.
Companies must seek explicit permission from employees to undergo testing. Also, employees’ medical data may not be shared with the employer. The processing of this data is done by the company doctor.