Do I need to continue paying wages to my employee on sick leave?

Employees on sick leave are entitled to continued payment of wages during the first two years of sick leave. The law sets out an entitlement amounting to 70% of the salary, with a minimum of the statutory minimum wage. Many employment contracts and collective labour agreements (CLAs) set out that more than 70% is paid out. During this mandatory period of continued payment of wages, the employer may not terminate the employment contract. The employee’s right to wages is conditional. The employee must cooperate in reintegration; wage sanctions may be imposed for non-compliance. After two years of sick leave, continued payment of wages is no longer mandatory for the employer, unless UWV (the Employee Insurance Administration Agency) has concluded that the employer did not fulfil their reintegration obligations. In that event, the employer may be subject to mandatory continued payment of wages for another period of time, with a maximum of one year. Upon expiry of mandatory continued payment of wages, the employer may terminate the employment contract.