Safety board chief wants legislation to force workers to reveal vaccination status


The chairman of the national safety council has said legislation to allow employers  to ask workers if they have been vaccinated should be passed ‘today rather than tomorrow’.

In an interview with current affairs show Buitenhof, Hubert Bruls said the increasing number of coronavirus cases and hospital admissions also justify stricter measures, such as a return to the 1.5 metre social distancing rule.

People who refuse the vaccine on principle deserve ‘respect’ Bruls said. But he then went on to say that ‘principles are only worth something if you have to sacrifice something for them and if they are meaningful. At the moment I think public health weighs heavier that individual opinion.’

It is currently illegal for employers to ask workers about their vaccination status although an employer may, in some cases and by mutual agreement, ask a member of staff to work from home or wear a mask.

Unions are not in favour of such a move and Kitty Jong, deputy chairwoman of the FNV trade union federation, reacted angrily to Brul’s comment. It was ‘incredibly annoying for someone who is not authorised to speak about work floor matters venting an opinion about this. He has no mandate,’ she told broadcaster NOS.

Registering such information will impinge on workers’ privacy rights, and they will face consequences, Jong said. ‘We are hearing stories about care workers who are being sent home without pay. This worries me,’ she said.


Employers’ organisations MKB and VNO-NCW had earlier called for the right to know if their workers had been tested, had had Corona or were vaccinated. This information, they said, would enable them to provide a safer workplace.

A survey among employers showed most would support requiring workers to share this information with their employer.

A spokesman for employers organisation VNO-NCW said it still supported the call, particularly for people who work in places where customers are being asked for the same information, such as bars and restaurants and cinemas. Employers should be able to use the coronavirus check app for staff, he said.

A number of companies have found ways around the current ban on asking workers for their vaccination status. Car company Leaseplan has been asking only vaccinated staff to turn up for work since August while accountancy firm Deloitte carries out random QR code checks.

The social affairs ministry has already said it cannot take steps against offending companies because the situation has no precedent in law.

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