Sick Leave: How sick leave and sick pay works in the Netherlands?

Article author
Wioleta MIodowska
  • Updated

In this article, we'll guide you through the process of sick leave in the Netherlands, including the requirements, eligibility, how sick pay works and the steps to request sick leave. 

In this article we cover:

How does sick leave work in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, employees are entitled to sick pay from the first day of sick leave for the first two years of illness that prevents them from working. Employers are responsible for covering the employee's salary during sick leave. In case of long term sick leave, the employee's condition needs to be assessed by a company doctor no later than 6 weeks from the start of the sickness. Learn more about company doctor process with Occupational Health service provider ARBO63 here

Who is eligible for sick leave in the Netherlands?

All employees are eligible for sick leave in the Netherlands with no conditions of seniority. 

How to request sick leave

Notify your employer promptly of your illness and Record the sick leave in the Remote platform

What documentation is required to process sick leave?

In the Netherlands, sick notes are not required for employees to take sick leave. Employees can go on sick leave based on their own self-assessment. Family doctors in the Netherlands do not provide a certificate for the sick leave, and instead, the employee needs to be evaluated by the company doctor. After two weeks of sick leave, the sick leave event is triggered to the ARBO365 Occupational Health Service, where a company doctor will be assigned to the employee. 

How do I get paid during sick leave?

In the Netherlands, Remote Employment Agreement offers sick pay of at least 100% of the salary capped at maximum statutory wages based on the Social Insurance (Funding) Act for the first year of sickness and 70% of the maximum statutory wages during the second year of sickness. You can find the current maximum statutory wage here.

If the employee earns more than the maximum daily wage based on the Social Insurance (Funding) Act, they are entitled to their salary up to the maximum daily wage. During the first year of illness, the statutory minimum wage applies, meaning the employer needs to pay the employee at least the minimum wage for that year. This applies unless the customer has a more favorable policy.

What is the Occupational Health service ARBO635?

In the Netherlands employers are required to ensure employees can work healthily and safely. Each employer must have a contract with a health and safety service or a company doctor. Remote occupational health service provider is ARBO365

A company doctor is an occupational health specialist, who assesses the employee's condition in case of a long term sick leave. If a sick leave lasts longer than 2 weeks Remote will be contacting the employee and initiating an Occupational Health process with ARBO365. A case manager from ARBO365, will contact the employee for the initial assessment and a call with the company doctor will be scheduled. After each appointment the company doctor will provide the employer with a Problem Analysis form with recommendation which must be followed for the employee’s successful reintegration back to work.

How to get in touch with the company doctor in the Netherlands?

Employees are not able to initiate the Occupational Health process with ARBO 365 in autonomy. The process is automatically triggered by Remote when a sick leave exceeds 2 weeks, based on the employee time off request. It is essential for employees to ensure that their time off profile is kept up to date and to promptly update any extensions for sick leave. In case employee needs to get in touch with the company doctor prior to the completion of 2 weeks of sick leave, please contact

Employees rights and obligations during sick leave

  • If an employee cannot perform their duties due to illness or disability, they must inform the customer as soon as possible

  • Sick leave must be added in Remote. You can find guidelines on how to request sick leave in Remote here

  • If an employee reports sick, they must be available to the employer and the occupational health and safety service (ARBO365).

  • The employee must attend the company doctor's consultation hours or be available by telephone/online for the company doctor

  • The employee must actively participate in the reintegration to promote recovery

  • An employee may request a second opinion from another company doctor

  • The employee must report any possibility of resuming work

  • Provided that the holiday does not hinder recovery, a sick employee can go on vacation. The employee must request permission from the employer for a vacation. This is the same as for a healthy employee. The company doctor can assess on medical grounds whether a vacation is harmful to recovery. The employer must approve the vacation period.

  • After two years, the employee may be eligible for a benefit under the Work and Income (Capacity for Work) Act (Wet werk en inkomen naar arbeidsvermogen, WIA, in Dutch). If it is evident that the employee cannot return to work and will not get better within this period, the employee can apply for a WIA benefit earlier. For more information and sickness benefits (Ziektewetuitkering, in Dutch), please refer to this website. You can find the official Dutch website of the Employment Insurance Agency (UWV, in Dutch) here.

Customers rights and obligations during sick leave

  • Unless the employee is under specific conditions (e.g., illness due to pregnancy, childbirth, or organ donation), it is the employer's responsibility to pay for the sick leave themselves for up to the first two years of the sickness. The Dutch Government will not reimburse the sick pay.

  • Each employer must have a contract with a health and safety service or a company doctor. Customer are obliged to cover the expenses related to the occupational health process, as outline here.

  • The customer is required to make efforts to help the employee return to work and cooperate with the employee on reintegration based on the company doctor's advice.

  • The customer must regularly contact the employee and discuss progress at least every six weeks.

  • After two years of illness, there is no obligation to continue payment. A case-by-case assessment is necessary for employment termination in cases of sick leave longer than two years. This should not be seen as an absolute rule.

What is Occupational Health ARBO635 service fee?

To maintain transparency and ensure our customers understand the financial aspects of the mandatory occupational health supports implemented in the Netherlands, we can confirm that customers can expect fees associated with long-term sick leave events, as outlined below:

  • Standard Appointment Fee: The base fee for the first consultation with the company doctor (physically or by telephone) will be €245 (plus 21% VAT). This fee covers the evaluation, consultation, and basic medical services provided during the appointment, followed by the draw up of the problem analysis (€99, plus 21% VAT).
  • Continued Services: If the employee needs to continue on sick leave after the initial doctor appointment, this will result in continued services or additional appointments, which will incur additional fees. Our external healthcare provider will provide a clear breakdown of any additional charges related to continued services.
    Important: All appointments will always be followed up by an updated problem analysis.
  • No shows: If the employee does not attend the company doctor appointment, the fee of a normal appointment is still charged.
  • Billing Transparency: If you have any questions or concerns about the fees associated with the occupational doctor appointments, please reach out to us for clarification. Before charging any fee, Remote will send the description of the services provided, appointment dates, and the total of the outstanding fees that will be directly billed through the normal Remote’s billing.

Disclaimer: Please be advised that the information provided is for general guidance only and should not be considered legal advice. Clients are strongly encouraged to contact the Lifecycle - Time & Attendance team for expert guidance and assistance in navigating the intricate landscape of time off requirements in the Netherlands. Consulting with our team is imperative to ensure compliance with local employment standards legislation and clearly understand the stipulated time off and attendance related requirements. Your proactive engagement with the Time & Attendance team is vital to making informed decisions and adhering to all relevant regulations.

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