International Society of Primerus Law Firms

Step-by-step guide for employee sickness

Russell Advocaten B.V.
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Your employee has called in sick. What do you have to do to avoid an extension of the period in which you are obliged to continue to pay salary? Here is a practical step-by-step guide.

Your employee has called in sick? Then you, as an employer, have certain obligations. If you do not fulfil these obligations, the UWV can even oblige you to continue to pay the salary of the sick employee for a longer period. The following step-by-step guide will show you what to do and when in case your employee reports sick.

  • Day 1: sickness notification by employee
    Your employee reports sick. You must notify the occupational health and safety service or company doctor of this illness as soon as possible.
  • Week 6: problem analysis
    At the latest in the sixth week of illness, the occupational health and safety service or company doctor will draw up a problem analysis. The situation of the employee is mapped out: what are the employee’s limitations and what reintegration possibilities are there? From this moment on you are obliged to create a reintegration file.
  • Week 8: plan of action
    Within eight weeks, you and your employee draw up a plan of action. This includes the arrangements you have made with the employee about the reintegration process.
  • Week 13: dismissal of employee who has reached state pension age (AOW)
    Has your employee reached state pension age? If so, you are allowed to dismiss your employee after 13 weeks of illness.
  • Week 42: 42nd week report
    Has your employee been ill for more than 42 weeks? If so, report your employee sick to the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency). This must be done ultimately on the first working day following the 42nd week of your employee’s illness.
  • Week 52: first-year evaluation
    Around the end of the first year of illness, you and your employee draw up a first-year evaluation. In this evaluation, you assess the reintegration up to that point and make arrangements for the coming year. Is your employee unable to return to his or her own job or an adapted job within your company? In that case, a second track reintegration must be started within six weeks after the first year’s assessment at the latest.
  • Week 68: early WIA-benefit (IVA) application
    Your employee can apply for an early WIA-benefit at the earliest after the third week of illness, and ultimately before the 68th week of illness.
  • Week 88: WIA-benefit application
    Your employee receives a letter from the UWV about the application for the WIA-benefit. You will receive a copy of this letter.
  • Week 91: final evaluation
    Ultimately two weeks before the employee applies for a WIA-benefit, you and your employee draw up the final evaluation. This will contain the status of the reintegration. In addition, you must hand over a copy of the reintegration report to your employee.
  • Week 93: submit reintegration report
    You submit the reintegration report to the UWV. Here you include:
  • The problem analysis
  • The plan of action
  • The first-year evaluation
  • An up-to-date opinion of the occupational health and safety service or company doctor
  • The final evaluation

On the basis of this report, the UWV will assess whether you have done enough for the reintegration of your ill employee.

Another tip: Keep a finger on the pulse! You are obliged to conduct a progress interview with your employee about developments in the reintegration process at least once every six weeks.

Extension of the period in which you are obliged to continue to pay employee’s salary

As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that the reintegration process runs smoothly.  If you do not make sufficient efforts for the reintegration of your sick employer, the UWV can impose a wage sanction, i.e. the period in which you are obliged to continue to pay the employee’s salary will be extended. You will then have to continue to pay the salary for up to one more year longer after two years of illness.

Therefore, make sufficient efforts for the reintegration of your employee and ensure that your efforts are recorded in full in writing in a file! In addition, get legal advice and engage a professional rehabilitation firm. You can also ask an expert opinion from the UWV to be sure that your reintegration efforts are sufficient.

More information?

Do you have any questions about the obligations regarding sick employees? The specialists at Russell Advocaten will be happy to give advice. Please contact Eileen Pluijm (eileen.pluijm@russell.nl or +31 20 301 55 55) or request our Newsletter Employee illness.


The general information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

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