Recognition of COVID-19 with occupational origin: A comparison between European countries

Evelien Nys, Sara Pauwels, Balázs Ádám, João Amaro, Athanasios Athanasiou, Osnat Bashkin, Tatjana Kofol Bric, Petar Bulat, Cigdem Caglayan, Irina Guseva Canu, Serghei Cebanu, Barbara Charbotel, Jolanta Cirule, Stefania Curti, Nadav Davidovitch, Keren Dopelt, Metoda Dodic Fikfak, Heikki Frilander, Per Gustavsson, Anje Christina HöperSibel Kiran, Manolis Kogevinas, Ferenc Kudász, Henrik A. Kolstad, Sanja Brekalo Lazarevic, Jelena Macan, Nicole Majery, Alessandro Marinaccio, Dana Mates, Stefano Mattioli, Damien Martin McElvenny, Zakia Mediouni, Ingrid Sivesind Mehlum, Eda Merisalu, Dragan Mijakoski, Evangelia Nena, Peter Noone, Marina Ruxandra Otelea, Daniela Pelclova, Nurka Pranjic, Mark Rosso, Consol Serra, Lesley Rushton, Abdulsamet Sandal, Eva S. Schernhammer, Sasho Stoleski, Michelle C. Turner, Henk F. Van Der Molen, Marek Varga, Jolanta Walusiak-Skorupa, Kurt Straif, Lode Godderis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives This study aims to present an overview of the formal recognition of COVID-19 as occupational disease (OD) or injury (OI) across Europe. Methods A COVID-19 questionnaire was designed by a task group within COST-funded OMEGA-NET and sent to occupational health experts of 37 countries in WHO European region, with a last update in April 2022. Results The questionnaire was filled out by experts from 35 countries. There are large differences between national systems regarding the recognition of OD and OI: 40% of countries have a list system, 57% a mixed system and one country an open system. In most countries, COVID-19 can be recognised as an OD (57%). In four countries, COVID-19 can be recognised as OI (11%) and in seven countries as either OD or OI (20%). In two countries, there is no recognition possible to date. Thirty-two countries (91%) recognise COVID-19 as OD/OI among healthcare workers. Working in certain jobs is considered proof of occupational exposure in 25 countries, contact with a colleague with confirmed infection in 19 countries, and contact with clients with confirmed infection in 21 countries. In most countries (57%), a positive PCR test is considered proof of disease. The three most common compensation benefits for COVID-19 as OI/OD are disability pension, treatment and rehabilitation. Long COVID is included in 26 countries. Conclusions COVID-19 can be recognised as OD or OI in 94% of the European countries completing this survey, across different social security and embedded occupational health systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-701
Number of pages8
JournalOccupational and environmental medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2023


  • COVID-19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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