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In practice, there are more and more employees who do not want to retire from work when they reach the state pension age. Also employers are increasingly tempted to allow such employees to continue to work. New legislation, which will enter into force on 1 January of next year, is aimed at removing the practical objections to longer employment of employees.

In general, employers have to continue the payment of wages of employees who are ill or disabled for work for two years. In practice, this has proven to be an important obstacle for the retention or employment of older employees. With effect from 1 January of next year, the legal obligation to pay wages in the event of sick and disabled employees who have already reached the state pension age, is only 13 weeks.

It is, however, important to bear in mind that employment agreements, collective labour agreements or staff rules may contain deviating arrangements, since these have priority over any legal provision in this respect.

For example:

Often it is defined in individual or collective schemes that the wages of sick employees will be paid during the first and the second year of illness, to a certain percentage. In practice, this means that the wages of an employee who has reached the state pension age, also still needs to be paid for a period of two years.

It is, therefore, important to check whether a similar arrangement applies and it may be advisable to amend it.


In the future, the obligation to continue to pay wages to these older employees may be further restricted to a period of six weeks.

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