Netherlands: Inspecting 'sick' vacationing employees

A new inspection service for Dutch employees of Moroccan and Turkish origin is now being set up, with special investigators for unjust sick-reports during vacations in those countries.  These employees can report sick using a false report from a doctor, prolonging their vacation in Morocco or Turkey by another paid week.  The doctor declares to the employer that the employee can't travel because of his illness.

VCC Groep from Utrecht, one of the largest companies in teh Netherlands to supervise absenteeism, will now set up a network of inspectors in those countries, together with investigation company Schalke & Partners.

Paul Chaillet, manager of VCC Groep, says that there's a market for it and that it's especially found by Dutch of Moroccan or Turkish origin.  The company makes 100,000 absenteeism visits annually.  He says that often a visit to the doctor, who hands in a false report, i s enough to to get the declaration retracted.  

Most reports to the company, which works for insurance companies Interpolis, Achmea and Meatis among others, are about about low-schooled cleaners and production workers who 'arrange' a longer vacation.  Chaillet expects more requests one the Morocco and Turkey service is available.

Another such company, CBZ Verzuimbezoeken, has an inspection service operation since last year, and is active, for example, for Arbo Unie.

CBZ Verzuimbezoeken is already seeing a decrease in the number of reports of 'sick' vacationing employees of foreign origin.  Requests for inspections this year came only from Germany and Morocco.  In the past there were also requests from Suriname, Turkey and Aruba.

Schalke & Partners had received requests from individual employers in the past.  Manager Aad Schalke says that last year they got a request to inspect a sick report in Turkey where the doctor's letter to the employer contained various vague complaints.  Somebody had pressured a doctor to sign a declaration and had then enjoyed the sun in a nearby apartment.  They already have a network in Turkey and Morocco, so the inspection service came there.  The change now is to get a fixed price for inspections.  Whether to Casablanca or to a village in Kurdistan, the travel costs make a difference for the report.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)

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