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If you own a company in the Netherlands and one of your employees becomes ill, you must notify your company doctor (Dutch) or working conditions service (Arbodienst). As soon as they are recovered, you must notify them as well. You do not have to report to the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV) if the illness is only short-term.
Notifying illness to the Employee Insurance Agency
If your employee is ill for more than 42 weeks, you need to report this to UWV (Dutch). This also applies if you are a self-insurer for the purpose of the Return to Work (Partially Disabled) Regulations (WGA). You do not need to report your employee’s recovery to UWV.
Taking sick leave and privacy
If your employee calls in sick, they are required to state the reason of their absence and to give an expected 'return to work' date. They don't have to give specific details about their illness (or cause of illness). If possible, they may indicate which tasks they might still be able to perform during their illness. Please contact the Dutch Data Protection Authority if you want more information on sickness and privacy with regard to your staff.
Sometimes a sick employee is entitled to sickness benefits. This applies to, for example:
- employees who are ill as a result of pregnancy or childbirth
- employees with structural functional limitations and occupationally disabled persons who are ill (no-risk policy)
- employees whose employment ends during their illness
If your employee is entitled to sickness benefits, you must report your employee’s illness to UWV by no later than the 4th working day. You can do this online by means of the (Dutch-language) Absenteeism Reporter for the Sickness Benefits Act/Work and Care Act (Verzuimmelder Ziektewet/WAZO). You must notify UWV of this employee’s recovery within 2 days.
Getting a second opinion
Is your sick employee uncertain about the assessment by the company medical officer? As of 1 July 2017 an employee who is ill has the right to consult a second, independent, medical officer.
Occupational health services and medical officers take care to provide an independent complaints procedure. As an employer you must conclude a contract in which regulation changes such as that of 1 July 2017 and others are recorded.