Illness and incapacity for work

Good working conditions are extremely important to the University, and this includes a healthy working environment. We therefore do all we can to reduce medical incapacity and sickness absence. However, there may be times when you are unable to work due to illness. In order to manage the situation in the best way possible and to ensure work commitments are met, agreements have been made within the University about reporting and managing sickness absence.

Who do I need to notify if I am sick, and when I am better? And when?

On the first day that you are sick or on the first day that you are better, you should notify your manager in line with the procedures agreed within your faculty or department. This also applies if you become sick during your holiday or a period of other leave.

Your manager can then take any measures necessary to ensure the continuity of your work. Your manager can also make arrangements with you regarding the further monitoring of your period of sickness.

If you are staying at a different address while you are sick, you should inform your manager of this (temporary) address.  You should also make an agreement about how you can be reached telephone.

Appointment with the University doctor

You and your manager will decide whether or not a visit to the University doctor is in order. You and your manager can, independently of one another, ask the University doctor for advice. In the event of psychological problems or complaints related to back problems, the advice of the doctor will always be sought within ten days.

In any event, the University doctor will make an appointment with you after four weeks. Thereafter, if you remain sick for an extended period, you will have an appointment with the doctor every six weeks. If you are invited to an appointment with the University doctor, you are obliged to keep the appointment. If this is not possible, you should inform the Health and Safety department (VGM) by telephone, indicating the reason.  A new appointment will then be made.

The University doctor’s advice

The University doctor will be asked for specific advice relating to your sickness.  You and your manager can each, separately from one another, ask the doctor for advice.  You can do this if you have any questions about: 

  • Your recuperation;

  • Resuming your work;

  • If you and your manager are unable to reach agreement regarding some aspect of your sickness or return to work.


Please use the online form (in Dutch) for this, or contact the Health and Safety department by phone.

You will then be invited to a meeting with the University doctor.

Contact details for the University doctor

The University doctors at the Health and Safety department can be contacted via telephone number 071 – 527 8015.

More information about the Health and Safety department is available on their web page.

May I go on holiday if I am sick? And how should I request holiday leave?

During periods of sickness, including long-term sickness, you are allowed and expected to take holiday leave.

If you want to take holiday leave and/or travel, you should first discuss this with your manager and possibly with the University doctor.  The doctor will then investigate whether there are any objections to the leave and/or the travel. If your manager (possibly following the advice of the doctor) agrees, you can then apply for leave in the normal way, via Self Service.  You should book leave in multiples of whole days, including the part of the working day for which you are considered sick.  

More information about how holiday leave is accumulated and taken during sickness periods, including long-term sickness, can be found in article 4.7 (paragraph 11) of the Dutch Universities' collective labour agreement.

Reporting sick during your holiday

If you become sick during your holiday, you are required to notify your manager using the procedure described above. You should indicate your holiday address and telephone number so that your employer can contact you.    

Restitution of holiday hours as a result of sickness is only possible if you reported sick, following the above procedure, and provided you can demonstrate subsequently that you were sick, for example by providing evidence that you were being treated by a doctor or that you were admitted to hospital. If these conditions are met, you can apply to have the holiday hours compensated.

When can I consult the University doctor?

If you think your sickness is related to your work or working conditions, you can contact the Health, Safety and Environment Department (VGM). You do not have to wait for a summons from the University doctor. Your appointment and the nature of the meeting are confidential. The University doctor will only notify your manager with your permission.

Long-term absence

The Sickness and Reintegration Procedure describes what you can expect in the event of long-term sickness absence. This procedure also explains the financial consequences.

Recovering loss from third parties

In the event of permanent or temporary medical incapacity due to the fault of a third party – an accident, for example − the University can recover compensation for the financial loss it has suffered from the party that caused it. A claim can also be made for any personal damages you have suffered at the same time. You should therefore report any accident to your HR department.

Further information

Last Modified: 13-04-2016