Important: the information in the following section is based on Dutch insurances/laws. Therefore, in other countries this information could not be applicable.
Information for the employer
You are an employer and you are confronted with an employee with cancer (in this case CML). Do you know what this entails? Are you or are you not an excess bearer (ERD)? Do you have a company physician? And what does a sick employee cost?
What does a sick employee cost?
First of all, there are the wage costs of the employee, the so-called WULBZ (Extension of Continued Sickness Pay Act) and WVZ (Extension of Continued Sickness Pay Act). As an employer, you are obliged to continue to pay the absent employee's wages for two years. Depending on the agreements in the CAO (Collective Labour Agreements) or the employment contract, you pay a sick employee at least 70 percent of their salary.
Most companies have arrangements that pay sick employees 100 percent of their salary in the first year and 70 percent in the second year of illness. In any case, please know that you are obliged to pay at least the minimum wage during the first year. We assume that the employee is long-term unfit for work. Please note that if an employee reports sick again one month after resuming their work, the clock starts counting again from the beginning. In theory, an employee can be absent on sick leave for a year and a half, fully recover and start working again, only to report sick again three months later with the same symptoms. In the most exceptional case, you then pay a total of three and a half years' salary to an employee on sick leave.
If possible a reintegration process, drawn up in consultation with the employee, can be of vital importance. The Absenteeism Reduction Act (‘Wet Verbetering Poortwachter' or WVP) plays an important role in this. The act is clearly explained on the ‘work and income’ page. Below is a short description of the different steps you and your employee will have to go through. Note: we cannot guarantee that this is the most up-to-date information, given that these laws and regulations change annually. Because of these frequent updates, you should always consult the UWV website if you are dealing with a (long-term) sick employee.
Step 1: The employee reports sick
The sick employee must report sick on the first day of absenteeism. If the absence is longer than a few days, the employer must report this to the company physician or occupational health and safety service within a week. In the event of long-term absenteeism, it is advisable to appoint one Case Manager to maintain contact with the sick employee.
Tip! Record all contacts and appointments (including those by telephone) from the beginning of the sick leave. This list, with all the forms and other documentation, will form the reintegration report.
Step 2: Problem analysis and reintegration advice Company physician
Within 6 weeks
In case of impending long-term absenteeism, you ask the company physician or occupational health and safety service to draw up a problem analysis and reintegration advice. You will only receive the information you need to draw up a plan of action with the employee.
Step 3: Action plan
Within 8 weeks
With the employee, you will draw up an action plan. Based on the advice of the company physician, the plan will contain agreements about job opportunities. Make clear what needs to be done to find suitable employment, initially within your own company (first track). Only after the company physician gives the green light can you look for suitable work at a new employer (second track).
According to the Absenteeism Reduction Act, you must record the agreements in the UWV action plan form. The created problem analysis can be used to draw up the action plan.
Step 4: Reporting to UWV
After 42 weeks, the sick employee must be reported to the UWV. Observe this deadline; you will be fined if you exceed it.
Step 5: First-year evaluation
After 52 weeks, you and your employee will evaluate the reintegration activities that took place during the first year of absenteeism. Clearly indicate whether the goal and route for reintegration are still correct or whether they need to be adjusted, for example, if the patient's ability to perform has deteriorated. The first-year evaluation form must be completed with the input from the sick employee.
Step 6: WIA application
If the employee is still sick, you must submit a WIA application to the UWV. The application contains the action plan (including adjustments), the first-year evaluation, the end-of-year evaluation (drawn up by you and the employee), medical information (problem analysis) and the current assessment that the employee has requested from the company physician (fully and permanently disabled, shortening the WIA waiting period to 13 weeks). Based on this information, the UWV will perform the absenteeism assessment (‘poortwachterstoets'). The UWV can provide more information about the WIA arrangement.