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Reporting illness

Are you ill? If so, immediately report this to the right person. Most of the time this is your manager. If your manager is not available, report your illness to the person standing in for your manager. You do not have to answer questions about your illness. You must be reachable.

This is how to watch the film with English subtitles: Click on settings in the bottom bar (the gear image). Then click on “Subtitles” and then click on English.

You do not have to provide details of your illness

Your employer is not allowed to ask you questions about your medical situation. This means that they are not allowed to ask what is wrong or ask about you treatment. Moreover, company doctors and medical officers are not allowed to provide your employer with medical information without your consent.

NB: Is your sickness absence related to your work? If this is the case, the company doctor may tell your employer what adjustments must be made so that you can return to work.

Follow the absence rules

Every company has regulations or an absence policy for reporting illness. It is important that you follow this while ill. Make sure that you are always available for the ARBO medical officer or company doctor.

Frequently asked questions

If you are ill, you do not have to go to work. Your boss is not permitted to force you to work. You do, however, have to do everything you can to get back to work (we call that reintegration).

If your employer tries to force you to work when you are ill, make an appointment with the company doctor or a medical officer. They will determine whether you are ill and whether you are fit to work.

You might not always agree with the company doctor or ARBO medical officer’s findings. They might, for example, find that you can return to work when you still feel too ill. In this case, clearly indicate that you still feel too ill.

Are you stuck? If so, contact the FNV.

No, your boss is not allowed to make their own judgment about whether you are ill or not. They may, however, ask the occupational health and safety service to check whether you are in the right to report as ill.

No, your employer may, however, ask you to be available for some time each working day for a check-up or a chat. There must be a regulation about this in the absence policy. Nothing in the absence policy? If this is the case, let your boss know by e-mail when you will be available.

No, your employer may, however, ask you to be available for some time each working day for a check-up or a chat. There must be a regulation about this in the absence policy. Nothing in the absence policy? If this is the case, let your boss know by e-mail when you will be available.

No, you do not have to tell your manager or the person managing your absence what kind of illness you have or what is going on. They are not even allowed to ask about it. If they do, you do not have to answer.

Yes, that is something they are allowed to ask. If it is very clear what you can and cannot do, you should answer. If you are not sure what you can and cannot do, say so. Your manager may then ask the occupational health and safety service (ARBO) to check with you about what you can and cannot do. In any case, your manager is not permitted to simply make this decision on their own. If, for example, you have a fever or something that is contagious, then you might be asked to work from home or to perform adapted work.

Yes, your employer may expect you to do the work that you can still do despite your illness or problems. They are allowed to do this because they have to continue to pay your wages.

Yes, if you can call yourself, then you are expected to do so. If you have a good reason why you cannot do it yourself, someone else may report your illness.

You should report illness the moment you know you are ill. In any case, report illness as soon as possible. If, for example, you become ill on Monday evening and have to work on Tuesday afternoon, call Tuesday morning.

There is always a risk that you fall ill unexpectedly. In this case, it goes without saying that you should report illness as soon as you notice that you are not feeling well. This might also be during working hours. This must also be accepted as reporting your illness. This should never cost you a day off, for example.

No, your boss may not withhold wages or write off holiday leave if you reported that you are ill. They may only withhold pay if you do not keep to the agreements made regarding your reintegration – the period when you fully or partly return to work after your illness. It is therefore important that you follow those agreements, even if you do not necessarily find them reasonable.

If you do not agree with the advice given by the company doctor regarding your reintegration, you can ask them for a second opinion. In this case, they then have to refer you to another independent company doctor for assessment. You can ask your works council for a list of company doctors you can go to for a second opinion.

The first company doctor will ask you for permission to share your medical data with the other company doctor. The other company doctor will ask you whether they can share their recommendation with the first company doctor. The first company doctor must explain to you whether the second opinion takes precedence in any way and if so, why. They will then resume their advisory position in the situation. 

If your contract ends while you are off sick, your boss must apply for sickness benefits for you. Always check whether the reporting of your illness and the application have been successfully submitted to the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency [Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen (UWV)].

The benefits agency will let you know within four weeks whether you are eligible for sickness benefits and if so, how much you will receive. You will receive your first benefits payment within four weeks of reporting illness. The UWV guides you through reintegration.

Feeling better? Then report this to the UWV within 48 hours and immediately apply for unemployment benefits.

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