France has amended the law to require healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

This is not allowed in the Netherlands, and the employers' association AWVN does not see this changing any time soon.

Forcing an employee to be tested is also not allowed, but with testing things are more nuanced than with vaccination.

"Employers cannot force employees to be vaccinated and are not allowed to register it anyway," says Jannes van der Velde of the AWVN.

"Asking employees to get tested is rather a case of 'no but or no unless'."

Employers are obliged to provide a safe working environment for their employees.

"This can be done to protect against the coronavirus by keeping a distance of 1.5 meters, by placing protective equipment such as splash screens and fixed walking directions on the work floor," explains the AWVN spokesperson.

"This provides a safe working environment and it is not at all obvious to ask people for something, let alone compel them."

Asking employees to be tested when they have to be quarantined is a different story, according to Van der Velde.

"If that can lead to the quarantine obligation being shortened and the employee being able to get to work earlier, that's not surprising at all."

In that case, too, forcing is not an option.

"In such a case, it would be strange if an employee says no to a request to do so. Then the employer could consider temporarily stopping the payment of wages."

France has a very different culture

The spokesperson for the employers' club notes that there is no case law in this area yet.

"Employers and employees arrange it among themselves. Colleagues also appreciate it if they know that they cannot be infected by you."

Many matters are also regulated by law, such as not being allowed to register, for example, vaccinations.

The fact that things can now be done differently in France does not change that. "That's a whole different culture."