I get a lot of questions about your rights as an employee during sickness. Like if you are entitled to your salary and holidays according to Dutch Labour law.
This article is about the salary you receive during your sickness. You sometimes need to separate your rights during your first and second year of sickness.
1 Salary during first year of sickness
The law states that you are entitled to at least 70% of your salary if you are sick. In the first year of sickness, however, you can never earn less than the minimum salary, so your employer must continue to pay the minimum salary. However, the employer does not have to pay more than the maximum daily salary if you are sick.
2 Can my employer continue to pay me my full salary, even if I am sick?
Yes, many employment contracts and collective agreements state that you wsick receive 100% of your salary in the first year of sickness. Then the employer must of course pay what has been agreed.
3 Salary during 2nd year of sickness
In the 2nd year of sickness, the employer must pay 70% of the salary, unless something else is included in the employment contract or collective agreement. But from the 2nd year of sickness, the employer no longer has to pay the legal minimum salary. As an employee you can never receive less than this. If that should occur, you can ask your employer to pay the minimum. Sometimes you can also apply for an additional payment from the UWV. The UWV then also looks at the income of the possible partner to see whether you are entitled to this. The rest of the questions below apply to both years of sickness.
4 Am I entitled to a thirteenth month or a bonus during sickness?
You are entitled to continued payment of (70%) of your salary during sickness. Then of course the question is what is your base salary. Those parts that do not depend on your performance is your base salary and your employer must continue to pay this. This means that a thirteenth month that applies to every employee (or that is included in the employment contract as a right) must also be paid during your sickness.
This also applies to a bonus if it does not depend on your personal performance, but f.E on the profit of the entire company. Then you are also entitled to this. But if you always receive a bonus because you normally work night shifts or weekend shifts or work overtime, your employer no longer has to pay these bonusses. After all, you don’t work these overtime hours anymore. A personal bonus is also linked to your personal performance and isn’t salary either.
5 is it allowed that I don’t get paid for my first 2 sick days?
This is only allowed if the employer has put this in the employment contract and you have signed it. Or if this is included in the collective labor agreement (CAO).
6 Must the employer continue to pay my expenses during sickness?
No, the employer does not have to pay this if you no longer have these expenses because you are sick. So if you receive expenses for using public transport for example, you are not entitled to this if you are sick. After all, you don’t have these costs then.
7 Can I continue to use the company car during sickness?
Most employment contracts stipulate that you must hand in your company car, mobile phone or laptop if you are sick. Then it’s clear that you cannot use it during sickness.
Even if this is not agreed upon in your labour contract, it is generally accepted that you may only use these items during and for work. And if you are expected to be (long-term) sick, you must hand it in nevertheless. You could only be entitled to financial compensation if, for example, you agreed in your employment contract that you may also use the company car or laptop for private purposes. And your employer wants to pick it up anyway.
8 Can the employer deduct other income from my salary during sickness?
Suppose you reintegrate with another employer because there is no suitable work for you at your old employer. You are then still employed by your old employer, but you then work for another employer. This is called the “second track”. Your old employer may deduct the salary you receive from the other employer from the salary he must pay you. But this doesn’t affect you.
9 Am I entitled to vacation days when I am sick?
Yes, the same rules apply to you as a sick employee as to any other employee. You simply receive all your (statutory) vacation days. That’s 20 vacation days per year if you work full-time. But it is possible that your collective labor agreement (CAO) stipulates that you do receive less mandatory holidays during your sickness. These are the vacation days that exceed these 20 minimum statutory holidays. The vacation days you use, will of course be deducted from your total vacation days.
10 Can I take a holiday during sickness?
Yes, the same rules apply to you as a sick employee. If you want to go on holiday, you simply have to ask permission to your employer. You are allowed to go on holiday, unless this would be negative for your recovery. If the employer thinks it will hinder your recovery, he can ask the company doctor for his advice. The company doctor will then discuss the pros and cons with both of you. He is the one who judges this, but the final decision must be made in mutual consultation by you as employer and employee.
11 Does my employer have to pay my salary if I leave my employment sick?
You may not participate in a settlement agreement if you are sick. Because then you lose all your benefit rights (WW, WIA, ZW or IVA).
If you want to know more about this topic, please read this article: https://lumenadvocaatmediator.nl/termination-agreement/
But if you have a temporary contract that ends, while you are still, you can apply for a sickness (ZW) benefit. Then your employer does not have to continue to pay your salary, but the UWV will pay you this benefit.
If you have been sick for 2 years, your employer’s obligation to pay your salary usually ends, even if you are still employed. This period could be extended by one year if your employer has not done enough for your reintegration.
If you have any other questions about the continued payment of your salary during sickness that I have not answered above, please send me an email or give me a call. If you have any other questions, or if you are looking for an employment lawyer to help you with anything, please do not hesitate to contact me. My details are under contact and at the bottom of this site.
My disclaimer applies to my article.