Incapacity for work and reintegration in The Netherlands
Our Dutch lawyer employment law and dismissal law in Amsterdam, The Netherland, has a proven track record in providing advice and representation on a wide range of complex legal issues, like incapacity for work, illness and reintegration in employment law. Dutch legal regulations provide certain restrictions on what employers can do if an employee is unable to work for health reasons. Employees who are unfit for work can not perform the stipulated work due to illness. The employer has to continue to pay at least 70% of the usual wages during the first two years of illness.
The employer should call in the assistance of an occupational health and safety service (arboarts) or certified company doctor. He or she will prepare a problem analysis and, in joint consultation, a plan of action. The judgment of the company doctor, advice about the reintegration of the employee within the company of the employer, is important. If the employee or the employer disagrees with the opinion of the company doctor, they can apply for a second opinion (deskundigenoordeel) from the UWV.
Reintegration during illness
Reintegration is the main objective during illness and the employer should do its utmost to provide the employee with suitable work, even with other employers if there is no other solution
The Dutch Gatekeeper Act
The Dutch Gatekeeper Act (Wet Verbetering Poortwachter) provides guidelines for the employer and employee in order to get the employee back to work as quickly as possible. After six weeks of illness, the problem analysis must be carried out.
- If the employee refuses to cooperate with reintegration, the employer is entitled to suspend the continued payment of the salary.
- If the employer refuses to cooperate sufficiently with reintegration, then a wage penalty can be imposed by the UWV.
- If after 2 years the efforts do not lead to a return to work, the employee can receive a WIA application form from the UWV during the 87th week. In the event of incapacity for work of more than 35%, the employee can apply for an incapacity benefit, WIA.
For more information and legal advice on illness, reintegration and incapacity for work, please contact our lawyer in Amsterdam specialized in labor law, Mr. P.Chr. Snijders.