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  • Writer's pictureAlexander Beard

How a good Health and Safety provider can make the difference

The Netherlands is known for its great social benefits. Unlike many other countries around the world, becoming sick does not mean you have to start worrying about your financial wellbeing.

Employers in the Netherlands are obligated to continue the payment of their employees’ salaries for 2 years. Although these payments are limited to the maximum-security wage, most employers in the Netherlands pay out more. 100% of salary in the first year and 70% of salary in the second year is very common. And most Dutch employees expect this payment. That is great for the employees involved. For the employer, this can, however, have significant financial consequences.

Many small and Medium-sized employers in the Netherlands reinsure their Sick Pay obligation with Sick Pay insurance. This way, they limit the possible financial loss in case of high Sick Leave numbers.

In most cases, this sick pay insurance includes a contract with a Health and Disability provider (in Dutch Arbo dienst). A basic contract with an Arbo dienst is mandatory by Law since July 1st 2018. The Health and Safety provider will assist the employer with legal requirements around sick leave. However, we find that, especially for small to medium-sized companies, the service from these Health and Disability providers do not fit their specific requirements.

For example: If your HR team is based on the West Coast of the United States and they are responsible for the sick leave processes in the Netherlands, you would prefer to be able to communicate in English with the local Health and Safety provider. You would also like to talk to them during your working hours, and not early in the morning when it is later afternoon in the Netherlands. Additionally, if you feel like an early intervention might keep your employee from getting sick for a more extended period of time, you would like to be able to talk to the Health and Safety provider about options. Especially in times like the Covid crisis, where employees increasingly finding themselves overwhelmed with the exceptional situation.

Unfortunately, we see that all standard Health and Safety providers included in the Sick Leave insurances offerings are not performing this way. They cannot appreciate the specific needs of internationally operating companies and are unable to act pro-actively.

At Alexander Beard International benefits, we have strong connections with independent operating Health and Safety providers, who can act pro-actively, communicate in English and understand that a solution might be just one phone call away.

Alexander Beard has long considered this issue of great importance and recognized the need for bespoke service in this regard. To that extent, our International Employee Benefits Division was born following a merger between Alexander Beard Group’s International Employee Benefits Division and the Netherlands-based Bogaard Pensioen Consultancy B.V. in November 2014.

Alexander Beard International Benefits has offices in the U.K., Netherlands, France and Germany. We advise upon, implement and manage bespoke packages of Employee Benefits, including Group Pensions, Life Assurance, Income Protection and Group Health plans.

Our success relies upon the combined experience of our Dutch, UK and French staff, which extends to over 60 years of delivering local and international benefit packages for international companies who have small to medium-sized workforces within Europe. In this respect, for many years, we have had an acknowledged specialty in working with IT and High Tech companies headquartered outside Europe.

If you are an employer with international staff and need an International Benefits plan, contact us for an introduction meeting at or complete our contact form here. One of our specialists will be in contact as soon as possible.

Bram Bogaard

C.E.O. -AB International Benefits B.V.


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