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If you are temporarily unable to provide work to your employees or, when work is available, you fail to call them in, you are obliged to pay them their wages nonetheless. It is possible to exclude this obligation, but only temporarily.
Obligation to pay
You are obliged to pay your employee(s) if:
- there is less work, but this is for your account and risk, for instance when an order has been cancelled
- there is enough work, but you fail to call in your on-call employees
- you have called in your on-call employees, but they are unable to do their work due to technical issues
Who do you have to pay?
The obligation to pay your employees if work is unavailable applies to:
- Regular employees
- Temporary employees
- On-call employees
It does not apply to agency workers or payrollers.
No obligation to pay
You are not obliged to pay your employee(s) if:
- you have explicitly excluded the obligation to pay in the employment contract
- your employee(s) is on strike, absent without proper reason, late for work or is in detention
How much do you have to pay?
Regular and temporary workers are entitled to their regular pay. On-call workers should be paid:
- at least their contractual on-call working hours
- when work is available, but you fail to call them in
- their guaranteed working hours, if you have concluded an minimum-maximum employment contract
If you have excluded the obligation to pay wages if no work is available, you are exempt from paying your employees. However, on-call employees are always entitled to a 3 hours pay when called upon.
Exclusion in employment contract
Extended exclusion period through cao
Start or extension CAO as of 1 January 2015
You may extend the 6 months exclusion period for certain positions if your sector’s CAO provides for this. However, this only applies to irregular work without a fixed work load, for instance when replacing a sick employee or when hiring someone for peak periods.
Existing cao before 1 January 2015 that is still in force: transition period
If your sector’s CAO allows it, you may extend the exclusion period for the duration of your CAO, but you may do so only until 1 July 2016.
Insurance or compensation possible?
You cannot insure yourself against the obligation to continued payment. However, in some situations, the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV) may support you. This could be the case if, for instance, the lack of work is the result of inclement weather or a temporary transport ban.