Legislative proposal RIV-test UWV by labor experts: advice from the company doctor becomes leading

When applying for WIA (disability) benefit at the UWV, the employee must submit a reintegration report. This reintegration report provides an overview of the reintegration efforts undertaken by the employer and the employee during the period of continued payment of salary.

Prior to the assessment of the eligibility for WIA benefit, the UWV assesses on the basis of the reintegration report whether the employer and employee have made sufficient reintegration efforts. This is called the RIV-test. If no satisfactory result has been achieved and the reintegration efforts are deemed to have been insufficient, a wage penalty can be imposed on the employer: the obligation to continue paying salary during illness is then extended by a maximum period of 52 weeks.

Employers tend to experience uncertainty with the RIV-test. After all, employers may be faced with a wage penalty, while the advice of the company doctor has always been properly observed. The reason for this is that the medical advisor used by the UWV during the RIV-test (in order to asses eligibility for WIA benefit) gives his/her own medical opinion on the limitations and employability of the employee, while the reintegration process has been aimed at observing the company doctor's advice. If the advice of the medical advisor of the UWV deviates from the advice of the company doctor, this can result in a wage penalty. No fewer than 12% of the imposed wage penalties are imposed as a result of a difference of opinion between the company doctor and the UWV medical advisor.

The current proposal aims to take away this uncertainty by ensuring that the advice of the company doctor is leading in the RIV-test. The UWV medical advisor will no longer assess the RIV-test. In addition, the UWV will no longer be able to impose wage penalties related to the company doctor's advice on the employee's employability.

The aim for the legislative proposal is to enter into force on 1 September 2021.