Objection results in UWV paying sickness benefits after all
My client had agreed to the rescission of his employment contract without putting forward any defence. The reason he agreed to his dismissal related to mental health problems he was suffering from. His doctors were of the opinion that leaving his employer would be beneficial to his recovery.
His employment contract was terminated with effect from 1 August 2009. The Dutch Administrative Office for Employed Persons’ Insurance Schemes (Uitvoeringsinstelling werknemersverzekeringen or UWV) originally awarded him sickness benefits from that date. However, these benefits were then terminated with effect from 27 December 2009. My client was accused of having acted prejudicially by agreeing to his dismissal during his illness. UWV also stated that it was considering imposing sanctions on my client due to prejudicial actions.
On my client’s behalf, I submitted an objection against UWV’s decision. During the objection proceedings, I argued that on the basis of the decisions of the Dutch Administrative High Court (Centrale Raad van Beroep), UWV was acting unlawfully in considering imposing sanctions as no investigation had been conducted into the facts and circumstances determining the extent to which my client’s actions were blameworthy. Furthermore, my client’s mental and physical condition was such that he was unable for health reasons to put up any further resistance against the termination of his employment. His doctor had literally stated that it would be irresponsible for my client to remain with his employer.
During the hearing I explained the objection in detail on my client’s behalf. UWV admitted that it had not conducted sufficient investigation into the circumstances or my client’s state of health. It agreed to consult his doctors.
Several weeks later, UWV declared my client’s objection well-founded and awarded him sickness benefits with retrospective effect. It also announced that it would not be imposing sanctions due to prejudicial actions.