Belgian law prevents companies from knowing employees’ vaccination status
Saturday, 31 July 2021
Companies want to know whether their employees have been vaccinated or not, but are not authorised by Belgian law to ask them.
“We are responsible for workplace safety,” the Flemish employers’ organisation Voka told local media.
Thousands of companies have been looking at resumption plans in recent months since, after a year and a half of telecommuting, many employees will be spending more time at the office after summer. At the same time, however, they are worried about health safety, knowing that some workers will be coming back from abroad, sometimes even from red zones.
Moreover, employers in Belgium do not know which workers have been vaccinated and which ones have not. Belgian law prohibits employers to ask employees for information about their medical health.
“Yet this is in the interest of the company and all its employees,” said Voka’s Martine Taeymans. “As employers we are responsible for safety and well-being in the workplace, and we need to do everything possible for everyone to work in a safe and healthy environment.”
This could be done with due regard for privacy “by having the data collected by the company doctor,” she added.
Labour Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne, who is involved in the matter along with Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, is aware that the ban on access to such information clashes with the duty to preserve the health of all workers. “The issue will certainly be taken up at the next meeting of the Consultative Committee, scheduled for August.”