In the event of long-term disability, the Werkwijzer Poortwachter prescribes what is required of an employer and employee in the context of reintegration. If the employer does not fulfill his reintegration obligations, a salary penalty will usually be imposed by the UWV. Unfortunately, due to the Corona crisis, it is not always possible for an employer to fulfill its obligations. That is why the UWV has published a new regulation that aims to offer a solution in this situation.
The regulation stipulates that if, due to Covid-19, an employer cannot submit all necessary documents related to the reintegration report to the UWV in time, it will be possible to provide leniency or customization. The UWV must then determine whether the arguments put forward by the employer are plausible. If this is the case, a wage penalty will not be imposed immediately, but the reintegration efforts will be assessed in terms of content on the basis of the information then available.
If certain reintegration efforts cannot be made due to Covid-19, this will not directly lead to a wage penalty. The UWV will assess whether Covid-19 is a sound basis for failure to meet the reintegration obligations. Only if this is not the case will a wage penalty be imposed. However, if these deficiencies cannot be remedied, no wage penalty will be imposed. For instance a temporary company closure due to Covid-19 and the impossibility to let the employee work at home will be accepted as valid reason not to comply with the reintegration obligations.
If a wage penalty has been imposed and the employer believes that the recovery efforts are stagnant due to Covid-19, he can request the UWV to shorten the wage penalty. If the UWV accepts the employer’s arguments, the obligation to continue to pay wages and the salary penalty will be terminated early. It will then be assessed whether the employee is entitled to a so-called WIA benefit.
In the context of the gatekeeper test, the UWV will be more flexibly regarding any violations of the employer’s reintegration obligations if it can prove that this is due to Covid-19.
The new regulation can be found here.
If you have any questions about your reintegration obligations during the Corona crisis, please contact Rigje Rosier. Do you have any other Corona crisis-related questions? Please do not hesitate to contact the Corona crisis advisory team of Valegis Advocatenor your regular contact person at Valegis.
We strive for completeness in our reporting but cannot guarantee this because developments follow each other at a rapid pace. The Dutch government regularly comes up with additions to or improvements of (new) regulations. As a result, our reports may be outdated at the time you read them. That is why we mention the date and time of posting with each message.