Report gives overview of regulation in nine European countries

SW – 07/2022

EUROGIP has published a report on the recognition of COVID-19 as an occupational accident and/or disease in nine European countries. EUROGIP is a public interest group for issues related to the prevention and insurance of occupational accidents and diseases, founded in 1991 by the French Health Insurance Fund for Workers (CNAMTS) and the National Institute for Research and Safety (INRS) as part of the "Occupational Accidents" department of the social security system.

Scope of the investigation

The brief report updates information published at the beginning of the pandemic in May 2020 on the recognition of COVID-19 as an occupational accident or disease. The situation in Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg and Sweden was investigated. In summary, the report concludes that in most of the countries mentioned, insurers against occupational accidents and diseases have included SARS-COV-2 infection in their existing system of recognition of occupational accidents and diseases. Existing national regulations have not been amended.


In most countries, only a positive test is required to initiate the procedure for a possible recognition of COVID-19 as an occupational accident or disease. In contrast, only severe forms of COVID-19 could be recognised in France. In Germany, at least one relevant symptom is required for recognition.

COVID-19 is predominantly considered an occupational disease rather than an occupational accident. In some countries, it could be an occupational disease or an occupational accident if the conditions are met. In Germany, for example, recognition as an occupational disease is possible for staff in inpatient or outpatient medical facilities in the fields of human medicine and dentistry, in welfare care facilities and laboratories, provided that all other conditions are met. For other workers, however, the disease could only be recognised as an occupational accident. In Denmark, recognition as an occupational disease would depend, among other things, on whether the exposure had lasted longer than five days, otherwise the existence of an occupational accident would have to be examined.

With regard to the burden of proof, a legal or de facto presumption of the occupational origin of the infection applies to health workers everywhere to varying degrees. For the other categories of workers, for whom such a presumption did not apply, the persons suffering from COVID-19 would have to prove that their infection was related to the workplace. In Sweden, on the other hand, recognition is reserved exclusively for health workers and laboratory staff.

According to the report, no special compensation schemes had been set up in the countries studied. The benefits would be the same as those generally provided for occupational accidents and diseases, such as reimbursement of medical expenses, daily allowance for temporary disability, flat rate payment and/or pensions for permanent disability or death.


On 18 May 2022, the Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work (ACSH) agreed that COVID-19 should be recognised as an occupational disease in the health, social and home care sectors and in industries with a proven increased risk of infection. The body of the representatives of the EU Member States and the social partners was in favour of updating the EU list of occupational diseases accordingly (see report 5/2022).

A table broken down by country summarises the main findings of the investigation. The report can be downloaded from the following link.