According to the governments instructions, employees who can work at home should work at home. If the employee works from home, there is an entitlement to his normal continued wages. If it concerns work which can not be performed from home, the employee in principle has an obligation based on his employment agreement to come to work and if the employee refuses such, there is no entitlement to paid wages. This can be different if the employer is not providing the employee with a safe working environment. Whether the employer has done sufficiently to safeguard a safe working environment should be assessed on a case by case basis.
Dutch laws contain the possibility to take (paid) emergency leave (calamiteitenverlof) of a couple of hours or days, where it is necessary for the employee to make arrangements. However, this is only applicable where immediate action by the employee is necessary (meaning there are no other options to resolve the lack of day care) and for a short term (taking the necessary temporary measures). For the period after emergency leave, the employee can use short term care leave (kortdurend zorgverlof) to take care of his or her children in case the children are ill (paid against 70% of the wage, maximized to 70% of the daily maximum wage), for a duration of 2 times the weekly worked hours. In the employment agreement or collective labour agreement, additional arrangements can be agreed upon. If the children are not ill, in principle the employee would have to take (unpaid) leave or vacation days to take care of their children, however, whether such is reasonable should be assessed taking into account the specific circumstances of the case;
If this is necessary as a result of the governments instructions for the Corona-virus, the employer may request the employees to work on different times than originally agreed upon. These different working times can be agreed upon, and otherwise imposed. However, when imposing these measures the employer should still take into account the (personal) circumstances of the employee and come to a reasonable instruction.
Besides these questions, we get many other queries (concerning the cancellation of earlier vacation requests, requesting an employee to step in and perform different work, what kind of wages (and travel reimbursements) the employee is entitled to when working from home, what measures an employer is obliged to take on the workfloor, etc. ).
If your questions has not been sufficiently addressed in the aforementioned Q and A, please feel free to contact us at:
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com .