Occupational Health & Safety Service Contract in the Netherlands: What Are the Minimum Requirements?

According to the Working Conditions Act, every employer must conclude a basic contract with an Occupational Health & Safety Service provider (OHSS) [Arbodienstverlener].

What minimum requirements should this basic contract meet?

With the renewal of the Working Conditions Act, the legislator opted for a compulsory basic contract for working conditions services, in order to strengthen the prevention of health complaints.

The contract must therefore meet a number of legal requirements. There are four parts: 1.) the risk inventory & evaluation (RI&E), 2.) absenteeism supervision and absenteeism prevention, 3.) periodic occupational health examination (PAGO) and 4.) appointment assessments.

Quality parts

In addition, the vendor contract must pay attention to requirements that health and safety legislation has made mandatory for employers since 1 July 2017. This is related to “quality components” that must sufficiently guarantee the independent judgment and the advice of the Company Doctor.

Each employee is also entitled to a second opinion from a different, independent Company Doctor.

Precautionary actions

Another element that must be included in the basic contract is that the Company Doctor must be able to consult with the prevention officer and the Works Council [Ondernemingsraad, OR] or personnel representation (PVT).

The Occupational Health & Safety Service provider must also have a complaints procedure and the contract must indicate that the Company Doctor has sufficient time to identify and report.

Safety net scheme and custom scheme

For occupational health and safety services, you can choose between a safety net and a tailor-made scheme. The safety net scheme means that you use the services of a certified health and safety service.

With a tailor-made scheme, you determine how you organize occupational health and safety tasks internally with the mandatory use of at least one company doctor. It does not matter which scheme you choose for the basic contract.

However, you must apply the safety net scheme if the representative advisory body (OR, PVT) rejects a proposal for a customised scheme.

Companies without a representative advisory body cannot apply a tailor-made scheme, unless the collective labor agreement makes this possible. A tailor-made scheme can be useful if you prefer to work on a small scale and with short lines and want to purchase targeted occupational health and safety services. Make sure that you then have sufficient expertise.

Basic plus vendor contracts

Occupational Health & Safety Service providers offer a total package for a fixed price per employee and also basic plus contracts. It is possible to request additional occupational tasks, for example, lifestyle advice to employees, absenteeism counseling or individual coaching.

It is important to evaluate the vendor contract after one year to review their service and whether a package price or whether a price based on activities better suits the need of to your organisation.

Consultation Works Council

In case the company has a Works Council or PVT, please note that the employee representation must agree with the content of the basic contract. Involvement the prevention officer is also important, because of the importance of this role, according to the working conditions policy.

Sick Leave Policy

The law sets all sorts of obligations for both the employee and the employer to facilitate as much as possible the speedy recovery of the Employee.

Each company is obliged to have a this policy outlining the expectations and obligations of Employer and Employee during Sickness Absence, in accordance with the Permanent Incapacity Benefit (Restrictions) Act.

Read more about this mandatory requirement to make sure your company is compliant. Read more on how to get a tailored Sick Leave policy for your company ›