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vha-sqsIncapacity for work and liability

Occupational accidents

Regrettably, it is still common for employees to get involved in an accident at work, or elsewhere during working hours. What must you do to prevent accidents? What are your obligations under the legislation on working conditions? Are you always liable? How do you deal with the Inspectorate SZW? We can answer these and other questions and advise you on how best to handle them.



Every now and then, every employer has to deal with employees who are unable to work, whether for a short or long period of time. Government policy aims to return employees, whether they are temporarily or permanently unfit to work, to their jobs; either to their previous position or elsewhere within or outside of the same organisation. It is the responsibility of the company doctor to supervise the sickness-related process. However, it happens regularly an employer and employee, or employer and company doctor, disagree on the procedure to follow. We can assist and advise you on how to act in this situation. Do you have means to oblige the employee to perform other suitable work? What is ‘suitable work’? It could be the employee is entitled to benefits under the terms of the Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act. Do you know your rights and obligations in these circumstances? Here, too, we would be pleased to help you.



Any employee who, as a result of illness, is unable to perform his stipulated work is entitled to at least 70% of his salary for 104 weeks. This is a major financial obligation for the employer. In certain cases, it is possible to claim the costs of damage incurred by the employer from the third party responsible for the employee’s illness. We would gladly inform on this option.


Illness and absenteeism

Any employee who, due to mental or physical limitations, is unable to perform his usual work duties is said to be incapacitated for work. Employers are, in principle, obliged to continue to pay 70% of the salary for 104 weeks, to the extent that the salary does not exceed the amount set by the government (maximum daily earnings). In certain cases, employees are not entitled to continue to receive their salary, for example, if they hinder their own recovery, or if they refuse to perform other work that they could carry out even with their limitation. If an employee does not attend an appointment with the company doctor, his employer is entitled to withhold payment of his salary on a temporary basis. It is important that employers have clear rules to which their ill employees must comply. We can draw up absenteeism-related rules and regulations for you, as well as advise you on your rights and obligations in relation to any employees who are incapacitated for work.

© 2016 Van Hall Advocaten Arbeidsrecht