Jan Dop


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Second opinion sick employee

Publication date 24 August 2020

If your sick employee does not agree with the advice of the company doctor, the employee can request a second opinion. As an employer, you are obliged to permit your sick employee to get such a second opinion.


What if your sick employee does not agree with the advice of your company doctor? This employee can then request a second opinion. As an employer, you are obliged to permit your sick employee to get such a second opinion.

Second opinion topics

Your employee can request a second opinion if there are doubts about the correctness of the advice given by your company doctor. A second opinion can be requested in response to the advice of the company doctor as part of:

  • Rehabilitation measures: Among other things if your employee does not agree with the opinion of the company doctor on the (in)capacity for work or with the advice on which work he can still perform.
  • An occupational health examination: If your employee has doubts about the occupational health examination carried out.
  • The consultation of occupational health issues: For example, if your employee has doubts about the advice when there is a suspicion of an occupational disease.

Request and implementation of a second opinion

Only your employee can ask for a second opinion.  You, as an employer, cannot do this. However, you can apply to the UWV for an expert opinion. In principle, the second opinion is free for your employee: the costs will be borne by you.

Your employee requests a second opinion from your own company doctor. This request cannot be refused, unless there are compelling reasons to the contrary. This is the case, for instance, if your employee repeatedly requests a second opinion on the same question or if the employee deliberately tries to delay the reintegration process with the second opinion.

Upon receipt of a request, the company doctor will call in another company doctor for the second opinion. This other company doctor must be employed by another occupational health and safety service.

Second opinion by another company doctor

The company doctor who has given the second opinion will only share his advice with your own company doctor if your employee has given permission for this. Upon receipt of the second opinion, your own company doctor will decide for himself whether or not to adjust his previous advice.

You do not agree with the (adjusted) advice of your own company doctor? Or your employee does still not agree with this advice? Then both you and your employee can apply to the UWV for an expert opinion.

Obligations of employer

As an employer, you are obliged to give your sick employee the opportunity to get a second opinion. You arrange this in the basic contract with your company doctor. In this basic contract you also arrange who can give a second opinion: the contract can designate one or more company doctors from which your employee can choose.

Works council

Do you have a works council? Please note: the works council has the right to consent to regulations in the area of working conditions, absenteeism due to illness and reintegration policy. Therefore, the works council must agree to the basic contract.

More information

Do you have a sick employee and are you looking for legal advice? Do you want to know more about the second opinion? Please contact us:

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