Since January 1, 2020, there is a new possibility for you as an SME entrepreneur to take out insurance against the absenteeism of your employees: the so-called absenteeism insurance. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs often experience that employees become ill or (temporarily) incapacitated for work, but fortunately most entrepreneurs rarely encounter this. There is also a disadvantage to this: when it happens, they often do not know how to deal with it and what needs to be arranged. There comes the new SME absenteeism insurance in picture. But is that really necessary, such extra insurance?
Sickness absence in the elevator
Unfortunately, the number of cases of sick leave in the Netherlands is increasing. In recent years - since the crisis - there has been a downward trend, but since 2018 it has turned into an upward trend. There is relatively more absenteeism at large companies than at SMEs (4.9% compared to 3.8% according to Arboned), where sectors such as technology, production and construction are relatively the most affected by sickness absence. However, absenteeism can strike in every company and in every sector, both physically and mentally, and as an entrepreneur you are never in for it.
Not just financial impact
Absenteeism due to illness does not only have a financial impact. That the salary must be paid for a considerable amount of time, even though the sick employee does not perform any work, most SMEs know that. But as an employer, your responsibility towards a sick employee does not stop after transferring the monthly wage. Support must be given, work must be done on recovery and, if necessary, a new, suitable position must be sought together, whether or not through retraining. Time-consuming and sometimes money-consuming processes, especially for entrepreneurs with only a few employees.
A SMEs absence-care insurance supports in both facets of absenteeism. On the one hand, financial stability is provided for the entrepreneur, and on the other hand, the entire process of sickness absence is supervised. What this guidance looks like differs from insurer to insurer. A party such as Centraal Beheer, for example, immediately assigns a case manager who acts as a liaison between employer, company doctor, employee and relevant professionals immediately if there is a long-term absence due to illness (or even if this threatens). With this you do not only receive support, but actually (intensive!) Work is taken out of your hands. This saves you as an entrepreneur time and therefore money, but it also provides you with a high-quality treatment of the disease case. Because a mistake in the process of (long-term) sickness absence is naturally made by someone who has not eaten it, and then the waste of time accumulates at breakneck speed.
For employer and employee
An important starting point to keep in mind when you are considering concluding an SME absence-care insurance is that such insurance is not only for employers. The employee also benefits from professional treatment in the event of illness. Of course, as an employee you hope to never get sick for a long time, but if it ever happens, you don't want to end up in a jumble of procedures that ultimately do not help you get back to work. If you know that there is a professional on hand who, for example, helps with the preparation of a perfect reintegration plan and also takes care of it financially, that makes for a pleasant feeling. It is possible for applicants may even be a reason to prefer one employer to another.
Get well informed Is concluding such an SME absence-care insurance ultimately sensible or not? That depends on several factors. As an entrepreneur, ask yourself what the impact would be if your most important or valued employee suddenly became ill for a long time tomorrow. Can that be taken care of internally? Do you know what to do? Do you have time in your agenda to sort out and arrange all kinds of things, or not? The answers to those questions depend on the size of your company and the extent to which you already have experience with managing (complex) cases of sick leave.
If you are unsure whether you would endure such a case with your company without a hitch, it is wise to make an appointment at a insurer that offers absence-care insurance to inform you. Such a conversation is often entirely free of obligation and free of charge, but can provide a great deal of insight into the risks that you run without insurance.