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In this article we discuss the so-called ‘no-risk policy’ and points of attention for employers who employ personnel with a no-risk policy. We discuss what the policy entails and what this means for the reintegration obligations when the employee becomes disabled.

What is a no-risk policy?

The no-risk policy is an arrangement that applies to employees with an illness or disability. In short, it means that when an employer hires an employee with a sickness or disability, this employer receives a benefit under the Sickness Benefits Act for the employee when he or she becomes ill. The UWV thus takes over the obligation to continue to pay wages from Art. 7:629 (1) of the Dutch Civil Code. In addition, the employer does not have to pay a higher premium for the Sickness Benefits Act and WGA.

When will the employer receive sickness benefits for his employee? 

The employer does not have to apply for this benefit in advance. As soon as the employee becomes ill, the employer informs the UWV that the no-risk policy applies. The UWV will then determine whether the employer will receive the benefit under the Sickness Benefits Act. 

If the employer only finds out later that a no-risk policy applies to the employee (an employee only has to report this on request), the employer may report this within four days of the date on which it could reasonably have known this. The UWV will then grant the ZW benefits with retroactive effect (of up to one year).

When is an employee covered by the no-risk policy?

The no-risk policy applies, for example, to employees who once received a Wajong benefit or employees who are entitled to a WIA or WAO benefit. Under certain conditions, it also covers employees who have been hired on the basis of unemployment benefit.

Reintegration and no-risk policy

During occupational disability, employer and employee have reintegration obligations. The no-risk policy does not change this. Even with a no-risk policy a reintegration process must be started. In addition, the UWV can impose a wage penalty for insufficient reintegration efforts. So start timely with the reintegration.

Imposing a wage freeze on an employee with a no-risk policy?

A wage freeze can also be imposed on an employee who falls under the no-risk policy. This is necessary if the employee does not comply with his reintegration obligations. The employer must inform the UWV of the implementation of this wage freeze within five days using a UWV form. If this is not done or not done in time, the UWV may impose a fine.

Would you like to know more about the no-risk policy?

Feel free to contact the employment lawyers of LVH Advocaten in Rotterdam. Our employment lawyers, Peter Verheijden and Lisa Kloot, are specialized in disability and reintegration processes. They will be happy to discuss the no-risk policy and sickness benefit with you.