As of 1 January 2019, an employer and an employee on sick leave can agree on a “gradual return to work for therapeutic reasons”.

According to the law of 10 August 2018, therapeutic part-time work, so-called “gradual return to work for therapeutic reasons”, has been legally regulated. The conditions of application are as follows:

  • Therapeutic part-time work means that the employee can return to work part-time during a period of incapacity for work due to accident or illness. According to this, the employee can return to work and get tasks and working hours adapted to his health condition. The return to work and the work performed have to be considered as being likely to improve the employee’s health condition.
  • With a medical certificate from the attending physician and the approval of the employer, the incapacitated employee can submit a request to the National Health Fund (Caisse nationale de la santé) for a gradual return to work for therapeutic reasons if the return to work and the work performed are considered as being likely to improve the employee’s health condition.
  • Legal conditions of application:
    • The gradual return to work for therapeutic reasons can only be decided if the employee has been incapacitated to work for at least one month during the three months prior to his request.
    • The National Health Fund (Caisse nationale de la santé) has to decide if a part-time return to work during the period of incapacity for work is appropriate based on the opinion of the Social Security Medical Board (Contrôle médical de la sécurité sociale).
  • The employees on gradual return to work for therapeutic reasons are covered against the risk of accident.
  • The gradual return for therapeutic reasons scheme will be assimilated to work incapacity.
    • The sickness benefits will continue to be payable during this period of gradual return for therapeutic reasons, irrespective of the recovery rate of work (there is no prorata calculation between the period of work remunerated by the employer and the period of sickness covered by the National Health Fund).
    • The protection against dismissal continues to run during this period (for a maximum of 26 weeks).

​Overview:

The employee, being sick for at least a month, can, within two months, make a request for gradual return to work for therapeutic reasons, based on a medical certificate of his attending physician and the approval of his employer.

The return to work and the work performed have to be considered as being likely to improve the employee’s health condition.

The National Health Fund has to decide if a part-time return to work during the period of incapacity for work is appropriate, based on the opinion of the Social Security Medical Board.

The gradual return for therapeutic reasons scheme will be assimilated to work incapacity.