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Eileen A. Pluijm, LL.M.
Eileen A. Pluijm, LL.M.

Eileen Pluijm advises national and international entrepreneurs and organisations on disputes concerning personnel, employee participation and social security. She is a member of the employment law and dismissal group at Russell Advocaten.


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UWV expert opinion

Publishing date: 13 February 2020

  Nederlandse versie

When your employee reports sick, the company doctor decides whether the employee is still able to work. If the company doctor decides that your employee cannot work, you might still have doubts: Is the employee really sick and cannot perform or could he do other work? You can then ask an expert opinion from the UWV on the matter.

UWV expert opinion

It may be useful to request an expert opinion not just in the event you are unsure whether your employee is really sick. Do you find, for instance, that your employee does not cooperate sufficiently with his reintegration and do you intend to apply a pay freeze?  In that case you can ask the UWV for an assessment of your employee’s reintegration efforts. You can also have your own reintegration efforts assessed, just to be sure you are on the safe side. After all, you do not want to be confronted with a wage sanction by the UWV.

Who can apply for an expert opinion?

Both employer and employee can apply for an expert opinion. The costs of this opinion are to be borne by the applicant.

Subjects for an expert opinion

The UWV can give an expert opinion on five questions:

  1. Is your employee unfit for his own work?
  2. Is the work offered suitable for your sick employee?
  3. Does your employee meet the reintegration obligations?
  4. Do you as an employer meet your reintegration obligations?
  5. In the event of frequent sickness absence: Is it likely that your employee will recover within 26 weeks, can the work be adjusted and is it possible to transfer him to another suitable position? An expert opinion is required in the event of an application for dismissal due to frequent sickness absence.

In the application you must specify which of the above questions you would like an answer to. You can only choose one question.

Tip: Do you apply for an expert opinion regarding your own reintegration obligations (question 4)? Do so in time, so that you can adjust the reintegration process if necessary!

Please note: In some situations the UWV will not give an expert opinion. For instance, the  UWV will only assess your employee’s suitability to perform his or her own work (see question 1) if you and your employee disagree on this. An expert opinion will also be rejected if your employee does not cooperate with the assessment of suitability for his own work.

Consequences of the expert opinion

The expert opinion will be given by an independent insurance doctor or occupational consultant of the UWV. This opinion is not binding. Thus, you and your employee are not obliged to follow up on the expert opinion. However, the UWV will include the expert opinion in the assessment of the rehabilitation report! Not following up on the expert opinion may thus have consequences.

If you and your employee continue to disagree after the expert opinion of the UWV, you can go to court. The court will also consider the expert opinion in its decision. Often the judge follows the expert opinion but that is not always the case.

Second opinion

An expert opinion must be distinguished from a second opinion by another company doctor, which can only be requested by your employee.

More information

Do you have a sick employee and are you looking for legal advice about this? Would you like to learn more about the expert opinion? Please contact us:

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