The cabinet is working on plans that make it possible for employers to check their employees for a QR code. If employees are unable or unwilling to prove that they have been vaccinated, recently recovered or tested negative, an employer can ban them from the workplace.
Employees who are unable or unwilling to comply with a corona access check can ultimately lose their salary, or even be kicked out. This is what employment law experts point out.
QR code at work
According to employment law attorney Pascal Besselink of legal service provider DAS, there are still some hurdles to be overcome. If the House of Representatives agrees to a corona ticket for work, the first question is what that will look like.
“For example, will it be mandatory for certain branches, where visitors already have to show a QR code? Or can employers in all branches choose it themselves?” Besselink points out that in that case works councils will be allowed to express their views on such a measure.
If employers introduce a QR check, the next question is what will happen to employees who are unwilling or unable to comply. “There will also be many flavors and variants,” Besselink thinks.
For example, if such an employee can work from home, the problem will usually be solved this way, he thinks. If that is not possible, you can look for a position elsewhere. “But that’s a bit more difficult.”
Lose wages or job
If an employer has gone through all the steps, someone can eventually be banned from the workplace. The next question is whether salary still has to be paid.
“In principle, employees are entitled to continued payment of wages,” explains Besselink. “Unless they can be blamed for not being able to work.” It is therefore possible that employees who cannot or do not want to show a QR code will lose their salary.
Dismissal also possible
If an employee is unable to work for a long time and an employer gets into trouble as a result, the employment lawyer does not rule out that this will ultimately be seen by judges as a reason for dismissal.
“It seemed unimaginable six months ago, but because developments are taking place at breakneck speed, such issues are suddenly topical. This is a very difficult situation for employers and employees, it creates friction and polarization in the workplace.”
Employment law lawyer Arlette Putker Blees, managing partner of L&A Advocaten, is also convinced that employees who do not want or cannot show their QR code could lose their salary or job if the new legislation is implemented. “Then things like that will inevitably come. It’s going to be very interesting.”
Putker Blees also points out that employers must first have looked at all alternatives and that a lot will also depend on the personal circumstances of employees.
According to her, there is a difference between someone who is afraid of vaccinations due to previous medical experiences and someone who denies that corona exists.
Waiting with measures
Putker Blees observes that there are already employers who ask employees for a QR code, under the principle of ‘ask is free’. “However, employers should not pressure or compel them to respond, nor should they process the answers.”
She advises employers who want to know exactly where they stand to wait with measures until the new legislation provides clarity.