FNV: employers put pressure on staff to avoid quarantine rules

Since December 1, the union has received about 80 questions or complaints from employees about the rules for quarantine. “I have to quarantine, but my boss is pushing me to come anyway,” is a frequently heard complaint, says spokesman José Kager. Or: “If you stay at home, that’s fine, but then you have to take vacation days.”

Wage must be continued

Both are not allowed. “The employer must ensure a safe working environment. And he does not cooperate by putting pressure on employees,” explains Kager.

Asking employees to take vacation days is also not allowed. The employer must simply continue to pay employees in quarantine. Lawsuits that have been conducted about this invariably ended in a victory for complaining employees, according to research by RTL Nieuws.

The only exception is if an employee has to be quarantined because he or she has traveled to a code orange or red area and the employer has already warned not to do so. If an employee nevertheless takes this risk, the employer does not have to pay.

Quarantine Rules

The rules for quarantine are as follows. Anyone who has been in close contact with someone with corona must quarantine for ten days, even if he or she has no complaints. If you test negative five days after contact and are free of complaints, you can leave.

The union has been getting questions about this since the start of the crisis, but more in recent weeks, Kager sees. When asked how many more complaints she did not immediately have a concrete answer. Kager keeps it to ‘relatively more’ than before.

Tightened rules

“Of course, that could also be related to the advance of omikron and that there are stricter rules.” RIVM tightened the rules just before Christmas.

At a single employer, the stress of being without staff is so great that there is even a threat to withhold wages, the union says. In addition, the FNV has also received reports over time from employees who had complaints but still had to come. “Because there are also employers who do not believe in corona, our members indicated,” says Kager.

No names

The union occasionally even received complaints from people who had tested positive, but had to come from their employer. Kager does not want to say which companies are involved.

On the one hand, the union wants to prevent complaining union members from getting involved in a conflict with their employer. On the other hand, the FNV also does not want to pillory one company, while there may be many more companies that make the mistake, explains Kager.

Employers want relaxation

Employers’ organizations hope that the ‘tightening’ rules will be relaxed for everyone. “Many people are now unnecessarily at home and this is causing problems for many companies and institutions, especially if it is not possible to work from home”, VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland previously told ANP news agency.

At supermarkets, the quarantine rules in combination with more sick reports ‘create challenges in getting the rosters’ through, according to a spokesperson for the trade association Central Bureau for Food Trade (CBL).

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