Written by Stichting Burnout on 4 August 2020 in blog English

In the event of burnout suspicions, it is good to address the burnout directive, including from the NVAB https://nvab-online.nl/sites/default/files/bestanden-webpaginas/MDRL_Overspanning-Burnout.pdf You ask the employer for a company doctor; the company farts applies the guideline, including tests, and determines whether or not you are a burnout. There is a duty of information for doctors, which means, among other things, that they must come up with a diagnosis and not withhold information. It also graces a company doctor if he does problem analysis, as in this example. A doctor should maintain a professional standard, in accordance with art. 7: 453 BW, which is why a company doctor must adhere to the NVAB guideline.

In the case of burnout, it is good practice (jurisprudence) to jointly look for an expert, external burnout recovery counselor. After all, Burnout does not heal by itself. Costs are for the employer (see our blog post about recovery costs: https://burnout.nl/blog-van-stichting-burnout/3-belangrijke-urls-voor-verpens-kosten-burnoutherstel/). Employer and employee must agree on ‘plan of action’. In principle, the choice of practitioner is up to the employee, in line with the WGBO and art. 8 ECHR (the right to choose with whom one shares personal information). It makes little sense to appoint a practitioner who does not like the patient.

‘Burnout’ is not part of individual health, and ‘burnout recovery (coaching)’ is not reimbursed by health insurance. Lots of GP’s (General Practitioners) do not know this. Furthermore, burnout recovery is a specialisation a coach or psychologist must have. An average ‘allround’ coach or psychologist will usually be of little help regarding burnout recovery. Therefore: seek out your own, burnout-specialised coach or psychologist, as with Stichting Burnout. And then we help you to convince your employer to pay. Should you go to a ‘eerstelijns’ or ‘tweedelijns’ psychologist, there are chances you will get a wrong diagnosis, wrong treatment, or that health insurance will refuse because it is burnout, and burnout is ‘cost employer’. 

Thus, employer and employee agree on an external burnout recovery practitioner, and recovery can begin.

During recovery coaching, work is definitely not recommended at the beginning. The guideline speaks of a “distance period”. It is also the case that it only becomes clear during the recovery coaching WHY and IN WHICH situation did you “lose energy” (characteristic 1 burnout: emotional exhaustion).

During the coaching you can resume work, but especially work that you enjoy and that increases your self-confidence. Not according to a fixed schedule, but every day as long as “as your body indicates”. You have to find your own limits. If you cross your own limits, you fall back into burnout.
When you are almost healed, or the first year of illness is over, the employer can choose between ‘first track’ or ‘second track’, ie return to the organization itself (whereby the chronic stressors for you have been removed, or you have learned – in external burnout recovery coaching – deal with it better) or: towards another organization. If you have to go to another organization, it is as neat as your employer offers outplacement (this can also be provided by the Stichting Burnout).

By the end of the outplacement process, the two-year illness is far from over, you will find another job, and your employer will get:

In short: employee and employer satisfied, burnout well overcome, employee with full self-confidence (because burnout recovered; as long as the burnout is not recovered, you have very low self-confidence) to work elsewhere.

Some employers try, for somewhat obscure reasons, to “shorten” the above, for example by leaving open whether there is burnout or to deny it. Is it hoped that the employee will retire himself? Or they try to get the sick employee away with mediation, VSO (settlement agreement) or a mobility agency as soon as possible. We think this is short-sighted, because:

  • the UWV will issue wage sanctions
  • an unrepaired worker finds it very difficult to find another job. One senses “his water” that something is not right around the applicant and does not accept him.

If not the correct route is followed, take these steps:

  • the UWV will issue wage sanctions
  • an unrepaired worker finds it very difficult to find another job. One senses “his water” that something is not right around the applicant and does not accept him.