Are there exceptions to the obligation to continue to pay wages in the event of illness?

Yes. If your employee does not cooperate with his or her reintegration obligations, you can suspend or even cease the obligation to continue to pay wages, under certain circumstances.

You can also agree with your employee that there will be no entitlement to wages during the first two days of illness (‘waiting days’). On the one hand waiting days can create a threshold for employees to report ill. On the other hand they might stimulate longer absenteeism due to illness: Employees will remain ill longer than two days in order to receive wages. Waiting days do not apply in case of any sickness notification. Does your employee fall ill again within four weeks? In that case you are not allowed to deduct waiting days again: You must pay wages from the first day of illness.

If it turns out that your employee can no longer work, he or she can apply for early WIA-benefits. If your employee gets early WIA-benefits (IVA), you are allowed to deduct the WIA-benefits form the wages you must continue to pay.

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Related questions

  • What obligations do I have towards my sick employee?

    During the first two years of illness you must continue to pay wages and make efforts for the reintegration of the employee:

    Continued payment of wages

    During the first two years of illness you must continue to pay at least 70% of the employee’s salary. Is this less than the statutory minimum wage? Then you must pay the minimum wage during the first year of illness. This does not apply to the second year of illness. Then, you may pay 70% of the wages, even if this is less than the statutory minimum wage.


    You must make an active effort for the reintegration of your employee. You must give the employee the opportunity to return to his or her own job. If that is not possible, you have to look for other suitable work within your own company or at another company. When guiding your sick employee, you must be assisted by a company doctor.

    If you make insufficient effort for the reintegration of your sick employee, the UWV can impose a wage sanction. In that case you will have to continue to pay salary after two years of sickness for up to one more year. Tip: Ensure that all your reintegration efforts are reported in writing in a file!

  • My employee calls in sick. What do I have to do?

    The step-by-step guide shows you exactly which step you have to take at which time after your employee has reported sick. In short, you need to take the following steps:

    • Day 1: sickness notification by employee
    • Week 6: problem analysis
    • Week 8: plan of action
    • Week 42: 42nd week report
    • Week 52: first-year evaluation
    • Week 88: WIA-benefit application
    • Week 91: final evaluation
    • Week 93: submission of reintegration report

    In addition, you must conduct a progress interview with your employee about developments in the reintegration process at least once every six weeks.