Your employer is obliged to continue paying your salary for two years during your illness. However, if you should not, or no longer have an employer, you may be entitled to protection under the Dutch Sickness Benefits Act [Ziektewet; ZW] You will receive a sickness benefit if you reported sick while your employer was not, or no longer, under an obligation to continue to pay wages.
This may be the case if you do not, or no longer have an employer because your employment contract terminated during your illness. You are also entitled to a sickness benefit if you became ill within four weeks after termination of your employment contract. Temporary workers are also entitled to a sickness benefit.
If you meet the conditions prescribed by the Dutch Sickness Benefits Act you are entitled to a sickness benefit for a period of 104 weeks. You may apply to the UWV for this benefit.
The amount of the sickness benefit basically is 70% of your daily wage. The basis for calculation is the salary from which you pay social contributions and tax. In exceptional cases you will be entitled to 100% of your daily wage. This occurs when you become ill as a result of pregnancy or childbirth before your maternity leave starts. You are also entitled to 100% of your daily wage in case of illness as a result of donation of organs.
Your sickness benefit terminates automatically after two years, also if you are still sick. After this time you may apply to the UWV for a WIA-benefit. For more information about benefits under the Dutch Work and Income according to Labour Capacity (WIA) Act, consult the heading ‘WIA’.
A sickness benefit may also terminate prematurely if you are no longer ill and resume work. Your sickness benefit also terminates automatically as soon as you are entitled to old-age pension under the Dutch General Old Age Pensions Act [Algemene Ouderdomswet; AOW]. The UWV may also cancel your sickness benefit if, in the view of the UWV you are less than 35% unfit for work by the end of the first year. In that case namely, you are capable of earning 65% of your former income.
You may file an appeal within six weeks if you object to the decision made by the UWV regarding your sickness benefit. Take note: for some decisions pertaining to the Sickness Benefits Act there is a time limit of just two weeks for filing objections! If you have filed your objection in good time, the UWV is obliged to re-assess your case and decide on your objection. If you should object to this decision on objection, you may appeal to the court. The ultimate remedy for you is to appeal to the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Netherlands Council of State [Afdeling bestuursrechtspraak van de Raad van State].
It is important for you to call in an expert to counsel you in your proceedings straight from the objection phase.
The lawyers at Elfi Letselschade Advocaat are Social Security Law experts and will be happy to counsel you.
If you should wish to learn more about other issues of social security law, consult the heading ‘Sociaal Zekerheidsrecht’ / Social Security Law on the website of Elfi Letselschade Advocaat.
 Art. 7:629 Netherlands Civil Code