New insurance and cost reduction regarding sick leave for (small) employers

25th of september 2019 | Door:  Niels Woudstra

The Minister has concluded a covenant (Government Gazette 15 February 2019, no. 7984) with insurers and employers' organizations with the aim of relieving smaller employers in the Netherlands of the costs and reintegration activities of sick employees.

Employers up to 25 employees can use this insurance. Employers who have more than 25 employees continue to meet the obligations within this regulations themselves.

From January 1, 2020, the employer remains responsible for the effective reintegration of the sick employee. Nothing changes in this with the launch of this insurance, but the insurance policy does a lot of work for the employer by appointing a case manager. This case manager manages reintegration when there is a threat of long-term absence. The employer is able to continue running the business instead of having to deal with all sorts of complicated procedures.

The MKB absence insurance policy offered by insurers is gatekeeper proof. If the recommendations of the company doctor and insurer are properly followed, the insurer reimburses any wage sanction. By the way, the Minister has promised to slightly reducing the requirements, so that a wage sanction is not applied as quickly.

This insurance ensures reintegration in both the 1st and 2nd track, for which the insurer is not allowed to charge extra costs. The insurer is also not allowed to introduce unexpected price increases if an employer has claimed more damages. The maximum premium increase depends on the size of the company. Because of the covenant, it appears that all current insurance policies for small employers can automatically transfer to this new insurance policy, without significant additional costs. The insurance that meets these conditions receives the quality mark. Employers can go to a special counter with complaints about the care insurance, if necessary.

To the extent that this insurance has additional costs, a year later - per 2021 - an annual subsidy is provided to small employers. It concerns a fixed amount of approximately 1,000 to 1,100 euros per employer. The payroll administration will be able to process this subsidy in the form of a premium discount in the payroll tax declaration.

Unfortunately, at the moment there is little clarity about detailed information, such as which insurers now have the new insurance in order, what the premiums are, how the maximum premium increases are determined and within which conditions the premium discount can be used. It is advisable for smaller employers to investigate in 2020 which new insurance policies are offered and which contributions are associated with this, because it is possible that a great deal of work and risks can be removed in return for virtually the same costs.