Sick note

The film below explains in Dutch what the rules are if you live in the Netherlands and work in Germany and become ill.

If you work in Germany and become ill or have an accident at work, your German employer will continue to pay your full salary for the first 6 weeks. One condition for this continued payment of wages is that you can prove that you are unable to work after 3 days of illness. The procedure for employees living in the Netherlands is different from that for residents of Germany. You have to report sick to UWV, the implementing authority of the Dutch employee insurance companies (see below for the step-by-step plan). Tell your employer that the procedure is different, because this may have different consequences under labour law.

If you are still ill after 6 weeks, you will no longer receive sick pay but a sickness allowance from your German health insurance. This benefit is about 70% of the net wage you were earning before you became ill.

Steps in reporting sickness

If you become ill, take the following steps:

  • Report sick to your employer on the first day of illness. When doing so, please provide the insurance number of your health insurance. If you work for a temporary employment agency, call in sick here too.
  • Call the UWV (088 – 898 92 94) to report sick.

Tell them the following:

  • Your Citizen Service Number (BSN)
  • The first day of your illness
  • The cause of the illness
  • Your insurance number (found on your health insurance card)
  • the name and address of your German health insurance.

The UWV will call you or make an appointment with you and prepare forms E115 and E116. The UWV sends the E115 and E116 forms to the German health insurance and you receive a written confirmation of your sick note. You can give this letter to your employer to confirm that you are sick. The forms take the place of the so-called “certificate of incapacity for work” (also called “yellow slip” or “sick note”). You may also be able to use the written invitation from the UWV to visit the UWV doctor.

  • Caution: Note that your employer must have the forms in any case on your third day of illness. In most cases, this is also stipulated in your employment contract.

Accident insurance

If you are in an employment relationship, your employer has accident insurance. This insurance can take the place of health insurance when it comes to medical expenses, sickness allowance and disability benefits. If you have an accident at work or an accident on your way between home and work, tell your employer, the health insurance company and the UWV immediately.

Incapacity for work

Sickness allowance in Germany is paid for a maximum of 72 weeks. If you are still unable to work after 78 weeks of illness (6 weeks continued pay + 72 weeks sickness allowance), you can apply for a reduced earning capacity pension from the German pension insurance.