Q&A – Do you need to provide changing rooms for those who come to work on their bicycle?
FPS Mobility figures show that increasingly more employees are cycling to work. This is good news because cycling improves health and productivity. But, as an employer, are you obliged to provide changing rooms for employees who prefer their bicycles to their car?
The simple answer to that question is ‘no’. However, there is a distinction between strictly following the legislation and promoting your employees’ well-being. Below is an overview.
What is required?
As an employer, you are only obliged to provide changing rooms if employees must change clothes to do their job properly and safely. Examples are activities requiring protective clothing or safety shoes.
However, there should always be a space available where employees can hang up their clothes, regardless of whether specialised clothing is needed or not. This includes things like individual lockers or coat racks. Wet clothes that have been put away should be able to dry. So choose a locker or room that can be ventilated.
But why should you provide a changing room?
You can encourage employees to bicycle to work by providing a changing room (and possibly showers). Nobody likes to start the day sweaty or rain-soaked. Plus, research shows that employees who cycle to work experience up to 50% less stress than those who take the car or public transport.
In addition, absenteeism due to illness is also lower. The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research discovered that employees who cycle to work report in sick at least one day less than their non-cycling colleagues.
What features must a changing room have?
If you provide a changing room, it must meet certain conditions:
- completely separated from the workplace and offices;
- a separate room for men and women;
- waterproof wall cladding and flooring;
- sufficient space (1.20 metres) between the rows of coat racks or lockers;
- specially adapted to any disabled employees.
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