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Unjustified Sick Leave: A Complex Challenge for Employers

In today’s dynamic work environment, managing sick leave is a challenging task for many employers. It becomes particularly problematic when dealing with abusive sick leave, a situation where an employee is unjustifiably absent due to illness. This phenomenon can have a significant impact on productivity, colleague morale and the financial health of an organization.

What is unlawful absenteeism?

Wrongful absenteeism, often referred to as absenteeism fraud, occurs when an employee falsely calls in sick to get time off from work. This can range from exaggerating a minor ailment to completely fabricating an illness.

Signs of abusive absenteeism

Some signs that may indicate abusive absenteeism are:

  • Frequent short illness reports, often around weekends or vacations.
  • Inconsistencies in disease statements.
  • Activities on social media that do not match the reported clinical picture.
  • Lack of specific medical documentation.

The Gatekeeper Improvement Act

In the Netherlands, the approach to sick leave is regulated by the Wet Verbetering Poortwachter. This law was introduced in 2002 with the goal of reducing long-term sick leave and acts as a guide for both employers and employees in the process of illness and reintegration.

Under this law, employers and employees are jointly responsible for resuming work as soon as possible. There are strict timelines and procedures to follow, including preparation of a problem analysis, a plan of action, and regular reviews.

Role of Santos Investigation Agency in unlawful sick leave case

In cases of suspected illegal absenteeism, Santos Investigation Agency can play a crucial role. Our specialized investigators can discreetly and professionally investigate the activities and conduct of the employee in question. Through observation, analyzing digital data and gathering evidence, we can help determine if absenteeism fraud has occurred.


Wrongful absenteeism is a complex problem that requires a serious approach. By being alert to the signs and using the expertise of

an investigative agency such as Santos Investigation Agency, employers can effectively deal with this type of fraud. It is important to strike a balance between carefully managing sick leave and respecting employee privacy and rights, in accordance with the Wet Verbetering Poortwachter.

A proactive approach and collaboration with an experienced partner can be essential to maintaining integrity within the organization and effectively addressing abusive absenteeism. With the right tools and expertise, you can minimize the impact of absenteeism fraud on your business and promote a positive, honest work environment.

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