25. 3. 2020

When can employers ask employees for details about their primary care doctor/physician?

In a previous issue we touched on the topic of what health information an employer can access. Readers were also eager to learn whether employers may request details about an employee's the primary care doctor/physician at the time they take up employment or at some time thereafter.

Labor legislation provides no legal basis for employers to request and collect information about an employee's primary care doctor/physician at the time he/she takes up. Thus, the employer has no grounds for requesting and collecting, in advance, information about an employee's primary care doctor/physician or any later request in that regard.

As explained by the Information Commissioner in opinion No. 07121-1 / 2020/244 of 20 February 2020, an employer may collect general information about primary care doctors/physicians (name, professional title and title of the health care provider where the doctor/physician works) subsequently, using information included on sick leave application forms or directly from the employee when he/she is absent or when the absence is planned (i.e. in relation to a specific case of sick leave).

If an employee would prefer not to disclose information about his/her primary care doctor/physician despite being absent from work, we are of the opinion that the employer can access this information through its lawyer (in accordance with Article 10 of ZOdv, applications for information should be addressed to ZZZS) if the employer can demonstrate justification for the personal data application.

Author: Erika Poles, associate
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