Belgian companies want to know if their employees have been vaccinated or not
Sylvie Claire / July 31, 2021
Companies want to know whether their employees have been vaccinated or not, but legally they are not allowed to ask. We are responsible for safety in the workplace, Flemish employers' organization Voka said in the Mediahuis newspapers on Saturday.
Thousands of companies have been wondering for months about a return plan because after almost a year and a half of telecommuting, many employees will be returning to the office more often after the summer. But at the same time, they are worried about the sanitary conditions knowing that some workers will come back from abroad, and sometimes even from red zones.
Companies also do not know which employees have been vaccinated and which have not. Legally, they are not allowed to know this, as it is forbidden to ask workers for medical details about them. Yet this is in the interest of the company and all employees, notes Martine Taeymans of Voka. As employers, we are responsible for safety and well-being in the workplace and must therefore do everything to ensure that everyone works in a safe and healthy environment. This could be done with respect for privacy, for example by entrusting the collection of data to the occupational physician, adds Taeymans.
Labor Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS), who is also involved in this file with Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke (Vooruit), realizes that the ban on access to this medical data is in conflict with the duty to preserve the health of all workers. The subject will certainly be discussed at the next Consultation Committee scheduled for August, his office replied in the Mediahuis newspapers.