A recent court ruling has shed light on whether an employee is entitled to compensation due to alleged breach of reintegration obligations by the employer. The case concerns an employee who claimed that his employer, T-Mobile, had failed to fulfill reintegration obligations after he reported sick due to psychological issues.
The employee, who was employed by both staffing agency Maandag and T-Mobile, had experienced a traumatic robbery in 2014, leading to persistent psychological problems. Following his sick leave on June 3, 2015, at T-Mobile, it became challenging to establish contact with him. After various developments, including changes in his work location and medical assessments, the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) decided not to subject T-Mobile's reintegration efforts to assessment.
The employee alleged that T-Mobile had breached its reintegration obligations, resulting in damage on his part. Despite his allegations, the appellate court ruled otherwise. The court maintained that the employee's arguments lacked sufficient substantiation and that no clear causal relationship could be established between the alleged breaches by T-Mobile and the claimed damages.
While acknowledging T-Mobile's actual negligence in fulfilling its reintegration obligations, the court argued that the employee had not been able to sufficiently prove that these shortcomings directly caused the claimed damages. Furthermore, the court determined that insufficient evidence existed to confirm that the alleged damages had truly been incurred.
This case underscores the significance of a clear causal connection between alleged violations of employee rights by the employer and the actual damages suffered. The court concluded that the employee had not managed to satisfactorily establish this connection, resulting in the rejection of his compensation request.
The court's verdict also demonstrates that the matter goes beyond merely identifying rights violations—it also entails proving the immediate impact of such breaches on the incurred damages. Consequently, the case will not be referred to a damages assessment procedure.
Link to the ruling: https://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/#!/details?id=ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2023:1573
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