If you become sick, please notify you superior or his/her substitute as soon as possible. Please indicate whether you will be staying at another address (for example, in hospital). You should also notify your superior if you become sick while you are on vacation. Leave hours will only be returned if you have reported sick and if you have provided a doctor’s certificate.
Procedure (Absence Protocol)
The Absence Protocol is the official scheme with regard to absence guidance at Utrecht University. It describes the procedure from the first sickness report. The Absence Protocol contains the rights and duties of both the employer and the employee as well as the manner in which a company doctor of MaetisArdyn Health Services may be called in.
You are legally obliged to do everything you can to recover. During your sickness, you may seek advice from your superior, the reintegration expert and/or bodies which or persons who provide occupational health care.
Eligibility for Permanent Disability Benefit (Restrictions) Act
Pursuant to the Eligibility for Permanent Disability Benefit (Restrictions) Act (Wet Verbetering Poortwachter) (website in Dutch), a number of regulations must be observed if you are expected to be sick for more than six weeks. The objective of this Act is to facilitate a speedy return to work and to this end it contains rights and duties for both the employer and the employee, such as regular contact (once every six weeks) between the superior and the sick employee.
Being sick or unfit for work has consequences for your salary and involves that certain procedures have to be followed. If you have been sick for a long time or if you run a high risk of being sick for a long time, the question will be raised whether you will be able to return to your work - reintegration - or whether you will need another solution, for example application for a benefit.
Existing legislation for persons who are unfit for work has been outlined below.
Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act (WIA)
Employees who have become sick on or after 1 January 2004 fall under the scope of the Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act (Wet Werk en Inkomen naar Arbeidsvermogen, WIA) (website in Dutch).
The employer will continue to pay your salary for the term of your employment, with a maximum of 2 years (104 weeks). If your contract is terminated while you are still sick, you may apply for a sickness benefit.
If the waiting period of 104 weeks has ended and if you are occupationally disabled for at least 35%, you are eligible for a WIA benefit.
The WIA procedure (in Dutch) can be found here. It describes which steps you need to take if you become sick. It also indicates when you need to take these steps and where you can seek assistance. The objective of this procedure is to assist you in returning to work, in so far as possible.
The WIA contains 2 schemes:
- Occupationally Disabled Persons Income Scheme (Inkomensvoorziening volledig arbeidsongeschikten, IVA)
- Partially Occupationally Disabled Persons Return to Work Scheme (Regeling Werkhervatting gedeeltelijke Arbeidsgeschikten, WGA)
Occupationally Disabled Persons Income Scheme (IVA)
The Occupationally Disabled Persons Income Scheme (IVA) is intended for employees who are permanently and completely unfit for work. Completely unfit for work means that a person is occupationally disabled for 80% or more. Permanently unfit for work means that there is no or only a very small chance of recovery. The IVA benefit amounts to 75% of the maximum daily pay received by the employee before becoming sick.
If the earning capacity of the employee remains unchanged, the employee will continue to receive this benefit until he/she reaches the age of 65.
Partially Occupationally Disabled Persons Return to Work Scheme (WGA)
The WGA is intended for employees who are partially, or completely but not permanently, unfit for work. In other words, these employees have a chance of (partially) returning to work.
The WGA provides for three benefits: the pay-related benefit, the supplementary benefit, and the follow-up benefit.
For more information on these and other schemes, please refer to the Sofie website (Social and Fiscal Expertise).
Occupational disability insurance
Because occupational disability may result in a substantial loss of income, you may wish to take out additional insurance in the form of an occupational disability insurance. Most insurance companies also offer special services, such as a waiting list service or a second opinion. The collective contracts and insurances of Utrecht University can be found here.
Utrecht University has developed specific policies for applicants with a functional limitation. Utrecht University uses the term handicap in the broadest sense of the word to include chronic illnesses and disorders. Utrecht University does its utmost to prevent a handicap from limiting employees in carrying out their duties.