Recovery of Salary only after notice
An employer who wants to recover a portion of the salary of a sick employee can only do this after the employee has been informed according to a recent ruling by the District Court of Utrecht.
In this case, a worker was ill, and therefore not at full operational capacity for the company. In September 2010 the company became aware that the employee was sick for over a year in April 2010, and therefore was only entitled to 70% of the agreed salary. The excess wages paid for the period April to September 2010 were to be periodically offset against future earnings. The employee did not agree with this and appealed to the Court in Utrecht. It ruled that judging because it was not clear if there was “suitable work” by the employer due to illness or “contractual work”. This is important, because with suitable work the payment period of 104 weeks continues and with contractual work a new term of 104 weeks begins. If there is a new term, the employer must pay 100% salary payments for a year.
The District Court Judge ruled that the employer only has to pay 70% of the wages from September 2010 because the employer had informed her that from that month a mistake was made. It was not reasonable for the employer to recover the overpaid amount for the period of April to September 2010 and to offset this against future earnings.
It is recommended that during a reintegration with a worker to explain which activities are carried out and if it is suitable work or contractual work.