Sick leave at small businesses capped at one year

Sick leave payment by small business employers is due to be reduced from the current two-year period down to only a year reports wage benefit agency UWV. Hans Biesheuvel from employers' association Ondernemend Nederland says that this is a step in the right direction, as wages during illness is one of the largest barriers to economic growth in the Netherlands, reported RTL Z.

The cabinet was expected to announce the decision on Friday. It will apply mainly to businesses that employ up to ten people. Under the plan, the employer would pay a premium over monthly salary, and the balance is to be subsidised by the government.

Biesheuvel advocates cutting sick leave even further to a six month maximum. He believes this would lead to more permanently employed people in the workforce because it reduces the risk that entrepreneurs face.

Biesheuvel believes that the cutback should be applied to all businesses, and not just small enterprises. Mandatory payment of a sick employee's wages for a two-year period is just too long, adding that the two-year scheme is unattractive to employers due to the cost and uncertainty involved.