The continued payment of wages obligation

21 February 2023
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The continued payment of wages obligation

In many cases, your employer is legally obliged to continue paying your wages when you are ill. The main rule is that for a period of two years (104 weeks), a sick employee is entitled to continued payment of at least 70% of his established, last-earned salary. The percentage to which you are entitled can never be lower than 70%. However, this percentage can be higher, depending on the agreements made in the collective labour agreement applicable to you or the employment contract you signed.

Minimum wage guarantee

During the first year of your illness, the application of the percentage will not allow your wages to fall below the legal minimum wage. This is because a minimum wage guarantee applies for the first year. If your wages fall below the minimum wage due to the continued payment obligation, the employer is obliged to pay you the statutory minimum wage. The minimum wage guarantee lapses from the second year of illness. In the second year, you will then receive 70% of the minimum wage.

When may your employer discontinue the continued payment of wages?

As an employee, you must comply with a number of obligations regarding your illness. If the employee does not comply with these obligations, then the employer may stop continuing to pay wages if you:

  • Deliberately caused the illness. Has concealed defects during your employment showing that you are unable to perform your duties.
  • Refuses to cooperate in your recovery.
  • Refuses to perform suitable work. Refuses to cooperate with reasonable prescriptions or measures.
  • Refuses to cooperate with your reintegration and the plan of action made for it.
  • Is entitled to WIA benefits but applies for them late.

What about if you are an on-call worker?

If you are an on-call worker, you are entitled to continued pay for your on-call hours when you are ill. This includes on-call hours that were already scheduled or verbally agreed. If your on-call hours have a fixed pattern, it is possible for you to claim wages for those hours as well. There is then a steady pattern of work. It is up to the employer to prove that a steady pattern of work does not exist.

What about if you are a temporary worker?

In principle, the continued payment of wages in case of illness also applies to temporary workers in phase B or phase C. This is different if you are a temporary worker in phase A and an agency clause has been agreed. In that case, you are not entitled to continued payment of wages in case of illness. Should your employer be unwilling to comply with its obligation to continue paying wages or do you doubt whether you are entitled to continued payment of wages during your illness? Then contact one of our employment law specialists without any obligation. They will be happy to advise and assist you.

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