Will employers in Flanders soon be able to organise Covid-19 vaccinations in the workplace?

Will employers in Flanders soon be able to organise Covid-19 vaccinations in the workplace?
September 9, 2021

When the vaccination campaign was launched in Belgium, it was intended, in a second phase, that this should also take place within companies. However, to date, vaccinations in the workplace have not been possible. This is now going to change in the Flemish region where the Flemish Government has developed a framework for vaccinations in the workplace via the occupational doctor. However, this option will not apply to all employers.

The measure will apply to which companies?

Vaccinations in the workplace will only be possible in companies that are located in the Flemish region and with:

– at least 100 workers, and

– a vaccination rate of less than 70%.

Can workers be obliged to take the vaccine?

No, vaccination can only take place on a voluntary basis.

The employer discusses the organisation of vaccinations in the workplace with the Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work (CPPW), then informs the workers and invites them to register, with the workers being free to do so or not.

What procedure must be followed?

Organising vaccinations in the workplace must always take place through the occupational doctor.

The following ‘steps’ must be followed.

Step 1: Companies with more than 100 workers must first submit their request to organise vaccinations in the workplace to the occupational doctor.

Step 2: The occupational doctor can then check the vaccination rate of the company through a ‘collectivity tool’, i.e. a tool developed by the government in which staff lists can be matched (anonymously) with vaccine data in the official government’s database. Only occupational doctors will have access to this tool.

Step 3: If the vaccination rate is indeed lower than 70%, then the occupational doctor can contact the local vaccination centre.

There are 2 options:

1. The occupational doctor organises the vaccinations him/herself and orders the vaccines from the vaccination centre; or

2. The occupational doctor does not organise the vaccinations him/herself but checks with the vaccination centre whether there is sufficient capacity to deploy a mobile team to administer the vaccines.

From when will vaccinations at work be possible?

The Flemish government aims to make vaccinations in the workplace possible from 15 October 2021.

We will keep you posted!

***

The ALTIUS employment team is available to provide further guidance regarding all Covid-19-related developments and obligations for employers.

Written by

  • Philippe De Wulf

    Partner

  • Esther Soetens

    Counsel

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