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FAQ on the website of the Dutch DPA in relation to Corona

Not long after the Italian Supervisory Authority published guidance for employers on COVID-19 related data processing, the Dutch Data Protection Authority has followed and issued brief guidance in one of the FAQ items on the Dutch DPA’s website.

For the non-Dutch speaking privacy practitioners we have prepared an unofficial translation of this FAQ item.

Am I allowed to check my employees for Coronavirus?

As an employer, you hardly ever have the right to register medical data of your employees yourself. However, you can call in the occupational health and safety service or company doctor to check for corona. Furthermore, it is especially important to follow the current advice of your local health service (GGD) and the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM).

Special category personal data

Health data are special personal data and are therefore extra protected. As an employer, you should not normally step in the shoes of a doctor by drawing conclusions about the health of individual employees. For example, by keeping a record of where employees have been on holiday. Or by recording their temperature. You can find more information in our file ‘My sick employee’.

Company doctor

Your employees can, of course, go to the company doctor or occupational health and safety service. If he or she suspects that your employee has the Coronavirus, he or she will contact the regional GGD as a matter of urgency. In consultation with you, the Municipal Health Service (GGD) can then take measures for on the shop floor.

Follow the advice of the Municipal Health Service and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)

We’re facing a special situation right now. The new Coronavirus is a contagious disease that is spreading worldwide and against which major measures are being taken. It is a task of the government in collaboration with the GGD to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus. Also in the workplace. Therefore, follow the current advice of your regional GGD and RIVM.


Wouter Seinen is a partner in the Firm's IP/IT & Commercial Practice Group in Amsterdam. He has significant experience in assisting national and international clients with respect to issues concerning ownership and protection of electronic data. Seinen has a particular interest in all internet-related issues on the subject of intellectual property rights. Moreover, he has a record in IT and outsourcing transactions, with a particular focus on business process outsourcing. He is also a keen negotiator and litigator.