The First Chamber accepts amendment Working Conditons Act
- 21 Feb 2017
- Marieke ten Broeke
The First Chamber has agreed to the Bill for an amendment of the Working Conditions Act. The implementation date will be announced in a royal decree at a later date, but is expected to be 1 July 2017. For current contracts with health and safety service providers a transition period will apply of at most one year following the date of implementation.
This act will call into place a number of new obligations. This will fist and foremost be with regard to co-determination in case of health and safety service provisions:
- The company must request the permission of the Works Council for the individual and positioning of the prevention officer.
- The company doctor will have to work in close collaboration with the company’s representative body. An annual consultation will have to take place between health & safety service provider and the Works Council or staff representation.
With regard to the company doctor, the following measures will apply as of the implementation date:
- A basic contract will have to be drawn up between company doctor and employer. Laid down in that contract will be the manner in which the support will take place and the way in which for employer applicable obligations will be executed. The basic contract will need to include the following obligations, with reference to the manner of execution/implementation:
- The company doctor may visit each work station
- The company doctor will have a complaints procedure
- The company doctor will have to work in close collaboration with the prevention officer and the WC, staff representation or interested employees
- The company doctor will in principle accommodate a request for a second opinion
- The company doctor will advise on preventative measures
-The company doctor will report work-related illnesses to the Dutch Centre for Occupational Disease (“NCB”)
- The employer, not the company doctor, will be responsible for absenteeism. Employee and employer will jointly be responsible for implementation of the company doctor’s advice.
The Inspectorate SAE (Social Affairs and Employment) will have the power to enforce in absence of a basic contract or in case the mandatory content of the basic contract is not adhered to. In case the obligation to report work-related illnesses proves insufficient incentive, the legislator will create the statutory option to impose a penalty.