Disability, illness and social security
Some frequently asked questions about disability, illness and social security
During the first two years of illness, there is a prohibition against termination of employment. This means that the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) will not grant a dismissal permit. As an exception, a court of law may dissolve the employment contract with a sick employee. In that case, the dissolution may not have any connection with the (occurrence of) the illness. If the occupational disability continues after two years and no wage penalty is imposed, the employment contract may be terminated.
As an employer who is self-insured (for the Return to Work (Partially Disabled) Regulations (in Dutch: Werkhervatting Gedeeltelijk Arbeidsgeschikten, WGA)), you bear the risk of your employees becoming unfit for work. The payment of benefits and the costs of reintegration will be at your expense.
Even if the employment contract is fully or partially terminated after and on account of long-term occupational disability, the employer must pay a full or partial transition fee. The employer may get (partial) compensation from the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV).
If an employee becomes incapacitated for work due to illness, the employer has several things to consider, such as:
- Prevention of absenteeism and prevention policy
- Absence management
- Absence protocol
- Calling in a company doctor and contacts with the company doctor
- Promoting the worker’s return to work
- Continued payment of wages in the event of illness
- Suspension or discontinuation of salary
- Possible wage penalties imposed by the UWV
- Dismissal of the sick employee
As self-insured employer, you pay less in invalidity insurance contributions than companies that are not. Please note, however, that this also increases your responsibilities and obligations.
In such a case an employer has the obligation to call the employee to account in a timely manner and may impose a sanction. There are two types of sanctions. The employer can stop or suspend the payment of wages as long as the employee does not sufficiently comply with his or her return-to-work obligations. However, the employee must first be made aware of his or her obligations in writing and be warned of a wage sanction.
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