Coronavirus FAQ for flex workers

The coronavirus has great impact on everyone. These are unprecedented and uncertain times, especially for flex workers. Please find an overview of all questions you might have in your situation during the coronacrisis below.

Please note that this FAQ will be updated on a daily basis. Whenever new measures or updates are announced, you will find the implications for flex workers on this page. Monitor our website for the latest information, but do not hesitate to reach out through the contact form below if you have any additional questions. 

1. Am I entitled to salary payments when I'm unable to work due to the coronavirus?

In most cases; yes. However, this depends on the specific reason you are unable to work. Two situations are described below.

  • You cannot work because you are infected with the coronavirus. The same rules apply as when you would be sick in normal circumstances. You are entitled to 90% of your normal salary in the first year (in compliance with the collective labor agreement). The standardized illness guidelines for flex workers apply here.  

  • You can’t work due to a circumstantial reason. For example; you are in self-quarantine or because your company is closed. In these circumstantial situations in general the rule is that a flex worker is entitled to salary payments, unless the reason that you are not working is your own responsibility. If a you are obligated to remain home (e.g. self-quarantine or company closure), then you are not sick, but you do maintain the right to salary if your contract stipulates a set number of hours of work.

2. I’m in quarantine under strict instruction by the RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment). Will my salary payment continue?

Yes. If you are obligated to stay in quarantine, depending on your labor contract. You can find the type of contract in Pay4me.

3. How long will my salary payment continue?

This depends on the type of labor contract that you have. Please note that if or when your salary stops, you will be able to apply for social benefits of the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency). You can find your type of contract in Pay4me. Listed below are the different circumstances for each contract type.

Fase 1/2 (0-hours contract)
In this case your employer has to let you know your work is cancelled at least 4 days in advance. If he doesn’t make this deadline, you will get your salary.

Flexolutions Fase 1/2 (with a contract with a fixed number of hours)
In this case your employer can terminate the working agreement at any time. He does have to take into account that if you have been employed for 26 weeks, there needs to be a notification of cancellation at least 10 days before terminating your contract.

Collective Freelance & Flex and Flexsupport Fase 1/2 (with a contract with a fixed number of hours)
This contract obliges your employer to continue your salary for the number of hours you have agreed on in your contract. You will get paid for the remaining month. Your employer is allowed to terminate the contract the month thereafter and consequently your salary stops as well.

Fase 3 contract with fixed number of hours
Your employer continues to pay you the same amount of salary for the previously determined number of hours you have agreed to in your labor contract, until the contract ends.

Contract for professional services
Your employer is under no obligation to continue to offer you working hours and does not need to offer compensation.

4. My employer is no longer offering me work due to the coronavirus. What happens now?

Your employer can always decide to terminate the work, but whether you still receive your salary depends on the type of labor contract you have. If your salary payments stop you can apply for social benefits. Listed below are the circumstances for continued salary payment for each contract type. You can find your type of contract in Pay4me.

Flexolutions | Flexsupport | Collective Freelance & Flex (contract without a fixed number hours)
In this case your employer has to let you know your work is cancelled at least 4 days in advance. If he doesn’t make this deadline, you will get your salary.

Flexolutions Fase 1/2 (contract with a fixed number hours)
In this case your employer can terminate the working agreement at any time. He does have to take into account that if you have been employed for 26 weeks, there needs to be a notification of cancellation at least 10 days before terminating your contract.

Collective Freelance & Flex and Flexsupport Fase 1/2 (contract with a contract with a fixed number of hours)
This contract obliges your employer to continue your salary for the number of hours you have agreed on in your contract. You will get paid for the remaining month. Your employer is allowed to terminate the contract the month thereafter and consequently your salary stops as well.

Flexolutions, Flexsupport and Collective Freelance & Flex Fase 3 (contract with fixed number of hours)
Your employer continues to pay you the same amount of salary for the previously determined number of hours you have agreed to in your labor contract, until the contract ends.

5. Can my employer apply for ‘shortening of working hours policy’ or compensation in wage costs? (UPDATE: NOW 2.0 and TOFA)

Due to the coronacrisis the 'shortening of working hours' arrangement is no longer in effect. The government supports employers with several other regulations, among which the NOW-regulation  (the temporary “Emergency Measure Bridging for the Retention of Employment”). The arrangement initially covered the period from March 1st to May 31st 2020. Meanwhile the regulation is extended with the period from June 1st to September 30th 2020 (NOW 2.0).

The NOW scheme offers a employers, who expects to be confronted with a substantial decrease in turnover due to the corona crisis, a subsidy which compensates a part of the wage bill.  The government calculates the amount of the contribution for the wage costs of employees based on the decrease in turnover from their employer. We are your legal employer and therefore we receive the compensation for flex workers, based on the loss in turnover of our parent company; the Brisker Group. We will then consult your employer.

For our customers we carry out the NOW regulation with a ‘corona idle hours arrangement’. We emailed our customers about the method and conditions of our arrangement. If your help is needed, you have received an email from us.

TOFA

The TOFA (Temporary Bridging Scheme for Flexible Workers) is a scheme for flex workers who (almost) no longer have any income due to the corona crisis. We do not play a role in this scheme; flex workers can submit an application for an allowance to the UWV. The scheme opened at June 22st 2020.

6. What should I do if I think I'm infected with the coronavirus? 

Call in sick with our service desk at +31 (0) 20 -280 60 80. Naturally, call your doctor as well. 

7. Can I invoke my right to short-term emergency leave if I have to stay at home to take care of my kids?

Yes, you can invoke your right to a short-term emergency leave, but only for a short duration. For instance, if you have to stay home for children that fall ill, or when the day-care suddenly closes. When you have to leave work for more than a few hours to take care of a sick child, you can apply for a so called compassionate leave or you can use you holiday days. The duration of the number of consecutive days of your leave of absence depends on your type of labour contract and your accumulated reservations.

8. Can my employer force me to comply to preventative measures?

Yes. You are obligated to follow orders in the category ‘reasonable instructions in the method in which your work should be executed’. This includes hygiene instructions to avoid coronavirus infection. If you decide not to follow your employer’s instructions, the employer is allowed to take action.

9. I don’t want to work because I’m afraid of getting infected by the coronavirus. Can I stay home?

If you are not especially at risk in the work you do, your employer is allowed to obligate you to come to work. If you decide not to comply, this officially indicates ‘refusal of work’ and your salary payments could be terminated. You will receive a warming before this happens. When you find yourself in this situation it could be better to take some holiday days.

Are you afraid of infecting your colleagues? If you have compelling reasons to think you might pose a risk to you colleagues, such as an infected roommate, then you are right in staying home. Please consult your employer about a solution, like working from home.

10. What should I do if I’m returning from a high risk corona-area?

This depends on where you’re travelling from and how you are feeling.

  • Are you returning from a ‘yellow’ area and are you feeling healthy? Then it’s okay to go to work. If you are experiencing any symptoms that could indicate corona (fever, shortness of breath, coughing)? Check with your employer if you can work from home and consult your doctor.

  • Are you returning from a ‘red or orange’ area? Report to our service desk (+31 (0)20 280 60 80) and inform your employer. In this case you will have to work from home for at least 2 weeks.

Please consult this website for an up to date overview on corona risk areas.

11. Can my employer ask me to do a preventative health check in order to avoid corona infections among colleagues?

Yes, your employer is allowed to measure body temperature of his workers during the corona crisis. He is allowed to measure body temperature of his workers under strict conditions. These conditions are best explained by following example. When he decides to measure body temperature of his employee, he should ask his employee to read the measurement and let his employee to decide to call in sick or go to work. Your employer is not allowed to register the measurement.
Note: The Dutch Data Protection Authority states body temperature checks could feel like an invasion of privacy. Moreover, the RIVM claims only a small part of the corona infections show an increase in body temperature.

If your employer suspects you are sick, he is allowed to send you home and advice you to call your doctor. Confirmation of a corona infection does allow your employer to deny you access to the workplace.

12. Is my employer allowed to ask about my health?

There are strict privacy rules for this situation. Your employer can ask you where you’ve been on holiday and is also allowed to ask after your health. However, you are under no obligation to provide an answer. If you do answer, your employer is not allowed to document your response. This also goes for Tentoo, your legal employer.

13. Any other questions?

Did you not find your answers on this page? Please do not hesitate to reach out through the contact form below. We will update this page whenever new regulations or announcements come to pass.

I have a corona related question. Please contact me.

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