Written by Stichting Burnout on 17 December 2020 in blog English

Almost half of the mails we get, as Stichting Burnout, are from EU citizens 25-35 years old that flew in to the Netherlands to have a high level job (higher education, mostly university). Almost all of them did and do not care to learn Dutch. We don’t mind that, but….

…..it strikes us that when an employee does not know Dutch, employers mostly try to fire the employee at first signs of illness or burnout. They sometimes do that towards Dutch employees as well….but far less often.

Our hypothesis is that Dutch employers think: ‘He/she does not know Dutch, he/she will never understand Dutch law regarding illness, we will have an easy job bullying him/her away!’

The incentive to bully away a sick employee is called ‘bezava’, and is very difficult for you to find as foreigner. Here is an explanation:

So in other words: the employer is very afraid you will leave the company ill, and that in that case the employer will get a 200.000-400.000 euro fine, called bezava, by UWV and tax authorities. That is why employers are so keen on firing at first illness….not because they would have to pay salary during your illness, they are WULBZ-insured for that.

What is the correct route to follow then you have first burnout suspicions?


If employer does not follow that route, these are the steps to take:


Do not trust the company doctor = bedrijfsarts, they are paid per the hour to say to you what the employer wants. They are more lobbyists of employers than independent doctors.

Now you can decide whether you want to be:
– tested on burnout by us, according to the NVAB guideline (‘richtlijn’) burnout
– diagnosed burnout in writing – https://burnout.nl/burn-out-help-for-english-speakers-expats-netherlands/getting-a-burnout-diagnosis-writing/
– or want a free orientational meeting with one of our burnoutcoaches/burnout psychologists, face to face or through videochat. Do mention your phone number, location and preference in that case.

Above, we wrote out the essence. Stichting Burnout takes pleasure in psychology, and burnout recovery. We are good at convincing employers to pay us for that. But we have no pleasure in explaining ‘the law’ to you, or explain, otherwise than above, how to tackle your employer. We are no legals and have no pleasure in fighting (except fighting for a signature of your employer so we can coach you for burnout recovery)

Please note that burnout never cures on its own, even when you leave ‘the nasty employer’ all together, and that jumping into a new job when burnout is very unwise (you are legally obliged to tell your new employer of your temporary handicap burnout, and can be fired at will when you do not. Besides, your burnout will become more seriuous again, with poor performance or no performance at all anymore).

Regular psychologists wit no burnout specialisation usually do not succeed at ‘healing your burnout’, but we do, we are totally specialised in burnoout healing. Burnout recovery is not reimbursed by health insurance; it is work related and employers should pay recovery (we can convince them). Psychologists who take you on with health insurance are frauding, in as well the diagnosis they give you as well as the treatment.