- 14 Sep 2016
- Inge Arts
Stronger position of company doctor
Today the House of Representatives adopted an amendment of the Working Conditions Act. This amendment will strengthen the position of the company doctor. The government is convinced that this legislative change will address the prevention of occupational diseases and work-related health problems.
In order to strengthen the position of the company doctor, a mandatory basic contract is introduced between the company doctor and the employer. In this contract, minimum guarantees are safeguarded, such as the minimum amount of time a company doctor can spend to visit the workplace and a complaints procedure in case employees are not satisfied regarding the way they are treated by the company doctor. Moreover, employees will get the possibility to ask for a second opinion with an independent company doctor in case of a lack of trust in the regular company doctor. It is up to the social partners to draft the basic contract, the government will adopt parts of this basic contract in the new legislation.
Free access of employees to the company doctor / occupational health services will be recorded in the new law. Also, the Works Council will have a right of consent with regard to the employee to fill the position of health and safety officer. Under current law it is already mandatory to have a health and safety officer. This is an employee of the employer who will provide insight in all risks at the work place and advises the employer with regard to tackling these risks. Currently, the responsibilities of the health and safety officer are already subject to the right of consent of the Works Council.
We will keep you informed of the developments, any other amendments and the date the amended Working Conditions Act will enter into force.
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