Reintegration obligations

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

If one of your empoyers becomes ill, you need to take several steps. If your employee stays ill for a longer period of time, you must work together on their reintegration.

Reporting illness

If you employ people in the Netherlands and one of them reports ill, first of all you need to notify the company doctor (in Dutch) or occupational health and safety service (arbodienst). If your employee is entitled to sickness benefits, you must report your employee’s illness (in Dutch) to the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV) by no later than the 4th working day. If your employee is ill for longer than 42 weeks, you must notify UWV (in Dutch).

If your employee is ill for a longer period, together you must do all you can to ensure they return to work as quickly as possible in a responsible way. Your employee may return to their original position or another suitable position within your organisation, or even a position with another employer.

Back to work action plan

The Eligibility for Permanent Incapacity Benefit (Restrictions) Act (Wet verbetering poortwachter, in Dutch) obliges you to take a number of steps within a certain period of time to make sure you employee can get back to work as soon as is reasonably possible. To make sure of this:

  • You have to maintain a reintegration dossier (in Dutch) which records all agreements and activities. This dossier also includes, for example, the plan of action, the reintegration report, and correspondence with your health and safety service (arbodienst) or company doctor.
  • You need to have progress meetings with your employee every 6 weeks. You must draw up a report of this.
  • You ask the company doctor to assess what your employee is still able to do and fill in the UWV's problem analysis (Probleemanalyse, in Dutch).
  • Together with your employee you draw up a plan of action in the 8th week of illness. UWV has a format for this (in Dutch).
  • You adjust your employees tasks, working times, workstation, and working hours if this is at all possible.

Expert assessment

If your employee’s reintegration programme has ground to a halt, or if your health and safety service or reintegration company are no longer able to assist you, you can request an expert assessment from the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, UWV). You will need this expert assessment if you ask a district-court to handle the dismissal of your employee on the grounds of uncooperative behaviour or excessive absence due to the illness.

Employee obligations

Your employee must cooperate actively with their reintegration. This means they have to:

  • discuss their health situation with the company doctor
  • discuss their progress with you every 6 weeks
  • work with you to draw up a reintegration plan and approve this plan
  • accept suitable work

Continued payment of salary

You must pay your employee with a permanent or fixed-term contract at least 70% of their last earned wages and holiday allowance. The duration of your obligation to pay is at the most 104 weeks.

Permanent disability

If despite all reintegration efforts your employee is still disabled for work for 35% or more, after 2 years they apply for the Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act (Wet werk en inkomen naar arbeidsvermogen, WIA).

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