On 21 April 2016 the Dutch Data Protection Authority published new “Policy Rules for the processing of personal data on the health of sick employees”.
It is important for employers that sick employees return to work as soon as possible. They require information from those employees for that purpose, for instance to assess whether an employee is entitled to sick pay. On the other hand, sick employees are entitled to privacy. Employers are therefore prohibited by law from inquiring about the nature and cause of their employees’ sickness.
The Policy Rules describe what health data of employees may be processed by the various parties involved. They address the various phases of an employment relationship, namely the application procedure, the sick report, the supervision and reintegration of a sick employee, as well as the periods during which the health data may be retained.
We advise you to check whether the processing of data of your (sick) employees by your organisation is in accordance with the Wet bescherming persoonsgegevens (Personal Data Protection Act). The Policy Rules may thereby be of assistance to you, for instance with regard to your sickness and absenteeism protocol. L&A can of course verify whether your current arrangements and procedures are in keeping with the Personal Data Protection Act, to avoid high penalties and negative publicity.
More information can be found at: https://autoriteitpersoonsgegevens.nl/sites/default/files/atoms/files/beleidsregels_de_zieke_werknemer.pdf