Geschreven door Stichting Burnout op 12 november 2019 in English


You may call or email the company that you are ill and stay home. Choose the communication way the ‘Personnel manual’ prescribes. Orally confirmed by email is fine.

BUT: beware: the employer decides whether you are allowed to stay home ill. So if you take sickness leave today, the employer may summon you to work tomorrow. Then you have to go to work (otherwise: work refusal = instant dismissal). Once at work, you may call sick again. That ‘game’ can repeat itself every day during 2 years (!!). So you are up to the benevolence of the company.

Doctors or psychologists do not decide whether you can stay home or should work, even company doctors (‘bedrijfsartsen’) not. It is solely employer’s decision. Netherlands is a very backward country in this respect.

BUT: if you feel you are really ill and cannot work: make sure you get psychologists and or physicians diagnosis in writing. For burnout: read https://burnout.nl/sb_wp/diagnose/burn-out-diagnose-hoe-herken-je-een-burn-out/ how that works.

Once you have one or more convincing diagnoses on paper, you can ignore the summons of the employer, and email him the diagnosis, arguing you cannot work. If an employer would then dismiss you instantly, you win the ‘kort geding’ (‘short procedure’) before the judge.

Also write to UWV, and ask ‘deskundigenoordeel UWV’, ‘expert opinion UWV’, and enclose your diagnoses to illustrate you cannot work. The finding of the UWV will not be binding, but count heavily in a legal procedure.

In case of burnout, employers are especially afraid of bezava: https://burnout.nl/sb_wp/behandeling/de-enorme-invloed-van-bezava-op-werkgever-en-bedrijfsarts-bij-burn-out/ – that is why they might first try to deny, intimidate you, make you despair hoping you ‘drop dead’ or leave the company ill without rights. Do not despair, contact info@burnout.nl, get a diagnosis for burnout, send it to UWV, sickness department = afdeling ziektewet PO Box 57015  1040 CT Amsterdam and ask for deskundigenoordeel UWV. Then you are covered against instant dismissal and can stay home.

Above is in fact all you need to know. For burnout there is a Lesa – NVAB ‘burnout richtlijn’, burnout guideline, with tests. Make sure bedrijfsarts and all others apply guideline and tests.

More reading (but less to the point than we above):

https://www.iamexpat.nl/career/working-in-the-netherlands/sick-maternity-holiday-leave-time-off-work

https://www.blenheim.nl/employment-law-netherlands/illness-employment

© Stichting Burnout 2019