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Wages in the case of illness

If an employee is unable to work due to illness, then in the first year of being ill, the employee is entitled to 70% of his salary and at least the minimum wage. In the second year of being ill, the employee is entitled to at least 70% of his salary. The employer is not obliged to meet the minimum wage during the second year of illness. This does not apply to people who receive sick pay from the UWV or those who are temporary agency workers.

Employees on temporary contracts are entitled to pay until the end date of the temporary employment contract. If the employee does not comply with the monitoring requirements and/or refuses to perform appropriate work, the employer may suspend/terminate the employee’s wages.


During illness, an employee is obliged to help to work towards his reintegration. For example, an employee must have periodic interviews with the company doctor and with the employer. If an employee does not continue to work towards his reintegration, the employer may, in extreme cases, dismiss him.

Occupational health and safety

During illness, part-time and flex workers, on-call workers and people on zero-hours contracts are entitled to occupational health and safety care. How that occupational health and safety is organised is determined by the employer in consultation with the employee. Occupational health and safety care is provided by an occupational health and safety service, company doctor, occupational hygienist, safety expert or an employment and organisation expert.

Holidays during illness

An employee continues to accrue holidays during illness. An employee may go on holiday during his illness, unless the holiday would hinder his recovery. In order to assess this, advice should be sought from the company doctor. The employer and employee decide whether the employee is allowed to go on holiday. In principle, an employee should also be able to go on holiday during illness.

Dismissal in the case of illness

The employer may not simply dismiss an employee during his illness. The dismissal ban applies to at least the first two years of incapacity for work. If an employee responds to a proposal by the employer to terminate the employment contract by mutual consent during illness, the employee runs the risk of not receiving benefits from the UWV.

If the employee has been ill for more than two years, the employer may dismiss the employee. The employer can apply for permission to dismiss from the UWV and/or make a proposal to the employee to terminate the employment contract ‘by mutual consent’. In the second case, a termination agreement is drawn up.

In order to obtain permission to dismiss from the UWV after the payment of salary obligation, an employer must prove that the following conditions have been fulfilled:

  1. the worker can no longer do the work he was hired to do;
  2. the employer and employee have tried enough things to ensure that the employee returns to work, but that is not possible;
  3. another or adapted job is not available, not even if the employee follows a course or receives training from the employer.

WIA and incapacity for work

After the period of continued payment of salary during sickness, an employee can claim a WIA benefit unless the employee is less than 35% incapacitated. If the employee is not able to receive a WIA benefit, the employee may be eligible for a WW benefit.

Want to know more? Seek advice in good time from law firm Kouvarnta which would be a good thing to do in your situation.

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