01 Oct

EU countries recognise occupational risk of COVID-19

Eurostat has just released a statistical report on the legal status of COVID-19 as an accident at work and/or an occupational disease at national level, following an EU-wide survey launched in November 2020. Such recognition is a determinant factor in insurance cases.

According to the survey results, all 27 EU countries consider the occupational risk of COVID-19. However, there are differences on how the file will be investigated (accident at work and/or an occupational disease) and which sectors and occupations are included in this possible recognition (limited to the health sector or extended to other sectors).

The survey shows that 17 EU countries recognise COVID-19 as an occupational disease (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, France, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden), while Italy, Slovenia and Spain see it as an accident at work.

Different criteria

Depending on national criteria, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Finland can consider it an accident at work or an occupational disease.

Greece and Ireland also associate it with work but don’t specify if it can be considered an accident at work or an occupational disease.

The report, reflecting the situation of June 2021, also includes information on economic sectors and occupations involved and the national criteria applied. While in some EU countries it is potentially possible to recognise the COVID-19 risk in all economic sectors and occupations, in others the recognition can be done only in specific economic sectors and occupations.

The survey was launched among national statistical authorities producing the European Accidents at Work Statistics (ESAW) and the European Occupational Diseases Statistics (EODS).

By: Estela Martín

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