If an employee is regularly absent due to illness this may have a significant influence on your business. More than once this also leads to tensions between the company and employee. Legislation is complex, extensive and above all subject to continuous change. Make sure to be informed on this complex issue to prevent problems. Next you find a number of aspects you are dealing with in case an employee is ill.
The obligation to pay wages
If your employee falls ill you are obliged to pay 70% of his wages, related to the maximum daily wage, for at least two years. Based on the employment contract between you and your employee or applicable collective agreements this could also be 100%.
No permission for dismissal
During the first two years of illness the employment contract cannot be ended easily. This does not mean however a sick employee can never be dismissed during a period of illness. Essential is the employee will not be dismissed because of illness. If the reason for dismissal is not related to illness the cantonal judge can be asked to dissolve the contract.
A dismissal during illness can in principle not take place based on business economic reasons. Please contact Sec Employment Lawyers for further advice.
Back to work
An employer has the obligation to reintegrate an employee. If you do not properly fulfill this obligation the consequences can be serious. UWV may impose a penalty if you have not done enough to reintegrate your sick employee. In that case you may be obliged to pay wages up to a year after the standard two years’ period of paying wages.
Your employee too has obligations that can be sanctioned when violating the obligations during a period of being ill. If your employee insufficiently cooperates in reintegration you may stop paying wages.
Many employees report sick because of an employment dispute. In that case there is no illness because of medical reasons. It is important the employee is seen by the appointed company doctor as soon as possible to investigate whether the disease has its cause in the employment dispute. If so the appointed company doctor will most likely declare the employee healthy (possibly after a brief period of cooling off). This way both employee and employer are forced to talk in order to solve disputes as soon as possible.
Obtain expert advice
If you have any questions with regard to the issues above, do not hesitate to contact us. Our lawyers are at your disposal.