Dutch employment law protects the sick employee to a high degree. GMW lawyers set out below how far this protection reaches.
Continued payment of wages during illness
The employer is obliged to continue to pay (part of) the salary of the sick employee for two years. During that period, the employer cannot terminate the employment contract: a prohibition of termination applies. The prohibition of termination during illness also applies if the employee is partly able to carry out the work. Only when he is able again to carry out his work in full is the prohibition no longer applicable. Setting aside the employment contract of a sick employee is however often possible.
When does a prohibition of termination during illness apply?
The prohibition of termination during illness applies in principle during the first two years the employee is incapacitated for work. If periods of incapacity follow each other with intervals of less than four weeks, these are added together to determine the total term of the illness.
The period of two years can be extended. This is the case if the UWV extends the obligation to continue to pay wages. This could occur if the employer has not complied with the reintegration obligations.
Dismissal for commercial reasons not possible
The consequences of the prohibition of termination during illness are greatest in the event of commercial dismissal: commercial dismissal via UWV (termination) or the sub-district court (setting aside) is not possible. If it was the sick employee who was eligible for being made redundant on the basis of the proportionality principle, the employer must nominate the next employee on the list for redundancy. The sick employee is protected. The exception is dismissal for commercial reason due to general business cessation. And this prohibition does not apply if the employee has become incapacitated for work after the employer has submitted an application for dismissal to the UWV.
Is it nevertheless possible to terminate the employment contract?
The employment contract with a sick employee can under certain conditions still be terminated. Firstly, this is possible if the employer and employee reach agreement on the termination of the employment contract. This could however have consequences for the sick employee relating to benefits and the employer can on the termination of the employment contract with a sick employee be faced with premium consequences.
In addition, there are a number of exceptions to the prohibition of termination during illness. The prohibition does not apply if the reason for the termination is not the illness and one of the following situations occur:
Termination during the probationary period;
There is an urgent reason (instant dismissal);
The employee has reached the state pension age.
Setting aside the employment contract
Finally, the employer can apply to the sub-district court to set aside the employment contract with the sick employee. The employer can request the sub-district court to set aside the employment contract with a sick employee for a different reason than illness and – therefore – for other reasons than commercial reasons. This could include setting aside due to a damaged working relationship with a sick employee, or due to unsatisfactory performance – provided the application for dismissal does not relate to the incapacity for work of the employee. The prohibition of termination does also not apply, and the employer can apply for a setting aside of the employment contract, if a sick employee refuses to cooperate in his reintegration.
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/Compensatie-transitievergoeding.jpg6671000Renée Sauerhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngRenée Sauer2020-03-31 12:59:182020-03-31 13:06:48Transitional compensation fee to be requested from April 1, 2020
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/tijdelijke-Noodmaatregel-Overbrugging-voor-Werkbehoud.jpg6671000Leon Koninghttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngLeon Koning2020-03-24 10:33:042020-03-24 10:33:40Government will reimburse up to 90% of your labour costs in the coming months
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/Startende-ondernemer.jpg6451000Daniëlle van den Heuvelhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngDaniëlle van den Heuvel2020-03-03 13:41:142020-03-03 13:45:00Starting your own company? Top 6 tips for employment contracts
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/Slapende-dienstverbanden.jpg7501000Renée Sauerhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngRenée Sauer2020-02-20 17:14:532020-02-20 17:15:14The Supreme Court decides: dormant employment contracts in violation of being a good employer
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/me-too-2.jpg6671000Daniëlle van den Heuvelhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngDaniëlle van den Heuvel2020-01-30 13:27:362020-01-30 13:27:58# Metoo behaviour does not lead to dismissal
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/Borstlap.jpg6681000Koen Vermeulenhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngKoen Vermeulen2020-01-29 16:17:152020-01-29 16:19:29The Borstlap committee report: 7 points that may change for you as an employer
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/when-to-fight-for-your-rights-in-the-netherlands.jpg8001200Godelijn Boonmanhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngGodelijn Boonman2019-10-30 13:23:262020-01-14 11:11:51When to fight for your rights
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/Pannenkoekjpg.jpg7211000Koen Vermeulenhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngKoen Vermeulen2019-09-23 17:13:442019-09-23 17:14:32Pension law is not for bakers, but it applies to them
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/Reintegration.jpg7181000Daniëlle van den Heuvelhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngDaniëlle van den Heuvel2019-08-15 14:59:432019-09-05 12:54:31Reintegration and dissolution
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/Change-of-workplace-reasonable.jpg6661000Daniëlle van den Heuvelhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngDaniëlle van den Heuvel2019-08-15 12:03:342019-11-28 15:19:52Is a change of workplace reasonable?
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/When-to-call-a-lawyer-about-work-1.jpg6671000Godelijn Boonmanhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngGodelijn Boonman2019-08-12 16:18:312020-01-28 11:32:32When to call a lawyer about work
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/EU-Works-Council.jpg6291000Koen Vermeulenhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngKoen Vermeulen2019-04-29 13:06:512019-10-02 15:16:25The establishment and rights of the European Works Council
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/Civil-servant-and-transitional-compensation.jpg6671000Koen Vermeulenhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngKoen Vermeulen2019-04-29 13:02:392019-10-02 15:18:32The ex-civil servant and the right to transitional compensation
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/Calculate-holiday-pay-vakantiegeld.jpg6671000Daniëlle van den Heuvelhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngDaniëlle van den Heuvel2019-04-29 11:54:292020-01-28 12:44:23Do these 5 components count when calculating holiday pay?
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/Late-for-work.jpg6621000Daniëlle van den Heuvelhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngDaniëlle van den Heuvel2018-11-29 13:25:372019-09-16 14:02:02Being late for work could get you fired
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/Employment-relationship-derails.jpg6671000Daniëlle van den Heuvelhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngDaniëlle van den Heuvel2018-05-28 14:06:392019-10-02 16:50:25When the employment relationship derails
https://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/Recent-changes-business-climate-NL.jpg6671000Godelijn Boonmanhttps://www.gmw.nl/wp-content/uploads/GMW-lawyers-weblogo19.pngGodelijn Boonman2016-08-09 00:00:002019-10-02 16:56:02Recent changes in the business climate in the Netherlands