It goes without saying that everyone wants to be healthy and happy. That said, we all have times when we fall ill, and we cannot work as a result. In these cases, your employer will report you as being off sick, so that you are eligible for sick pay. Hopefully, you’ll feel better soon, and you’ll be back at work in just a few days. If you take any longer to get back to good health, the Occupational Health and Safety Service will get involved. In this article, we’ll explain what an Occupational Health and Safety Service is, and what you need to take into account as an employee.
‘Arbo’, the Dutch term for occupational health and safety, is short for ‘arbeidsomstandigheden’, or working conditions. In other words, an Occupational Health and Safety Service helps businesses maintain good working conditions. The most common time an Occupational Health and Safety Service springs into action is in case of illness, but it actually does much more than that. For example, it also helps prevent absence due to illness or accidents, by assessing whether an employer is offering safe conditions to work in. Among other ways, it does so by drawing up a risk inventory and evaluation (RI&E), or by checking the workload is not excessively high. As such, an Occupational Health and Safety Service also assesses what can be done to ensure employees do not end up with burnout.
All organizations and businesses are obliged to enter into a contract with an Occupational Health and Safety Service. They are required to do so by law. A range of different Occupational Health and Safety Services are available, and it’s up to the employer to see which service is best suited to its needs.
There are various times at which the Occupational Health and Safety Service might get involved. If you’re taking on a job that requires you to be in tip-top shape, you may need to undergo a preventive medical examination or a health check. These medicals will be carried out by the Occupational Health and Safety Service.
In most cases, the Occupational Health and Safety Service will also get involved if you fall ill. The exact rules for this are also laid down by law.
If you call in sick, your employer is obliged to notify the Occupational Health and Safety Service within a week.
The Occupational Health and Safety Service will then contact you to check how you are doing.
They employ occupational physicians and other medical specialist exactly for that purpose, as these people are able to offer you the right level of support. Your employer is not able or allowed to assess your medical condition itself, not only because it lacks the medical knowledge to do so, but also because you are entitled to a certain level of privacy.
The Wet verbetering poortwachter (Eligibility for Permanent Incapacity Benefit (Restrictions) Act) sets out what happens when you are off sick for longer than six weeks. For example, the Occupational Health and Safety Service will analyse your sick leave in more depth. You will also need to draw up a plan, together with your employer, setting out which steps you need to take to be able to resume work.
In other words, the Occupational Health and Safety Service will take care of everything that’s required to ensure you can get back to work in a responsible manner.
After all, being at home on sick leave is not exactly enjoyable for anyone.
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