Mandatory Covid-19 vaccination for employees is legally not possible in the Netherlands
As the possibility to return to the office comes closer, some companies in the United States, such as Google, said they will require their employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19. Such a mandate is forbidden in the Netherlands, De Telegraaf wrote.
Article 11 of the Constitution in the Netherlands states that everyone has the right to determine what happens to their own body. This makes it impossible for employers to order their workers to get a Covid-19 vaccination before returning to work.
Unless the government implements an emergency order, companies in the Netherlands must abide by Dutch law, trade unions FNV and CNV and the employers’ umbrella organization VNO-NCW stated. “The government could adopt an emergency law, but Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge have already said that they do not wish to make vaccinations mandatory”, a spokesperson of the FNV said.
VNO-NCW said they believe such a requirement is not necessary for the Netherlands because there already is a high willingness to vaccinate. “Unlike in the United States, we have a very high vaccination willingness in the Netherlands”, a spokesperson of VNO-NCW claimed. Therefore, such a law would only have a marginal effect on the number of people who want to get vaccinated, VNO-NCW claimed.
Google announced that it hoped to set October 18 as the date when all employees must return to the office. Prior to that day, employees are allowed to continue working from home. In the United States, a vaccination mandate for Google employees has been said to come into effect within the upcoming weeks.
It is still too early to determine what consequences the new policy in the United States will have for the 900 Google employees in the Netherlands.
Facebook also stated that workers in the United States must be vaccinated before entering the office.