Employees in The Netherlands and sickness
Your employee is unfit to work. This is of course unpleasant for the employee, but also for the employer. The Netherlands applies a number of specific focus points in relation to employees who are unfit to work.
Continued payment of wages for 104 weeks
Dutch legislation requires you to (partially) pay the wage of your sick employee for a period of 104 weeks.
If an employee is unfit to work, he or she has to receive at least 70% of the minimum wage and at least the Dutch minimum wage during the first year of sickness. In the second year of sickness you are required to pay at least 70% of the wage. This wage does, however, not have to replenished up to the minimum wage.
As soon as the employee calls in sick, you require sickness regulations. Sickness regulations stipulate the company's own regulations, such as:
- who the employee has to report sick to and by which time at the latest;
- that the employer always requires the nursing address of where the employee will be;
- or that employees who are unfit to work have to allow an inspection visit by an occupational health physician.
The sickness regulations are usually signed together with an employment contract as soon as the employee is hired.
An important focus point is that employees in The Netherlands do not have to submit a doctor's note when they report in sick. The Netherlands does not apply the system that is widely used in many other countries.
Is your employee sick? Then you, as employer, together with your employee and an occupational health service or certified occupational health physician, are required to ensure that the employee can resume work as soon as possible. This may lead to costs in relation to absenteeism monitoring, reintegration and replacement.
If you do not comply with the above legislation, the 104 weeks of continued wage payment may be extended from two years to three years.
As a result of the matters here above, employers of the Dutch labour market could accrue high costs. Apart from a well thought out policy on sickness of employees, absenteeism insurance is for many employers an additional means to (partially) cover possible costs following sickness of employees.
If you are hiring employees in The Netherlands, it is important that you are familiar with the Dutch laws and regulations on sickness and absenteeism. Should you have any further questions or require further advice, please contact us.