COVID-19 - Exit strategy: what do you need to know as an employer?
Yesterday, the federal government announced its summer plan or exit strategy. Four steps have been planned, but these steps have been made dependent on a smooth vaccination campaign and a favourable evolution in number of Covid-19 patients to intensive care units in hospitals (target threshold of 500 beds maximum).
Only the first two steps are important for employers.
From 9 June 2021
- Telework remains compulsory, but an employer can organise one return moment per week.
- Never more than 20% of employees present at the same time or maximum 5 in SMEs with less than 10 employees
- Testing is strongly recommended.
From 1 July 2021
- Telework is recommended but no longer mandatory. Regular testing is also recommended.
There is a plan, but whether it can be implemented depends on the situation in the hospitals.
At the moment, no details are known about the modalities of the return moments or about the testing of employees. The rules will be elaborated in a new Ministerial Decree.
However, on 7 May 2021, the social partners made a declaration (in Dutch and in French) on return moments with a number of strict conditions (e.g. no obligation for employees, goal is to promote psychosocial well-being, attention should be paid to transport to work, strict compliance with prevention measures at work, respect for social consultation). But whether these rules will be adopted in the Ministerial Decree remains to be seen.
We will follow up on this.