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Handhaving Netherlands - what is it?

author: Maciej Wawrzyniak30 August 2023
Handhaving Holandia – co to jest?

If you are receiving benefits from the UWV in the Netherlands, or if you are just planning to file a corresponding application, you must remember that in addition to a number of rights you have, you are also bound by a number of obligations that you must strictly comply with. Otherwise, "Handhaving uitvoering" verification proceedings may be launched against you.

UWV allowance in the Netherlands - what does this institution do?

UWV is an institution that deals with providing advice and assistance in finding work to all people living in the Netherlands. Its competence can be compared to that of the Polish Labor Office. It is also where we report for all labor insurnce available in the country. This is because it handles the acceptance of applications and the payment of the following benefitsa.

  • unemployment benefits,
  • sickness benefit,
  • incapacity benefit.

WW-uitkering unemployment benefit - who is entitled to it?

Unemployment benefits can be claimed by anyone who has lost their job in the Netherlands and who has worked at least 26 of the last 36 weeks. You can apply for unemployment benefits online at uwv.nl - however, it will be necessary to have a personalized DigiD code. It is also important how our last legal employment ended. Dismissal in this case must be the employer's decision - if we decide to terminate our employment ourselves, or if we are dismissed through no fault of our own, we are not entitled to benefits.

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What are the obligations of a person receiving unemployment benefits in the Netherlands?

Social benefit WW-uitkering is only a temporary replacement income in case of job loss. The duration of the benefit will depend on the number of years worked, but this does not mean that once it is awarded we can simply collect the money and not take steps to find another job.

The UWV requires us to actively seek new employment at all times. Every month we are required to send evidence of applying for particular positions. This must also be accompanied by a statement of monthly income ("Inkomstenopgave"). If there is any change regarding our income and employment, we must report it to the office within a week. We are also not allowed to leave the country - by returning to Poland, we will break the rules that apply while collecting the benefit. We are obliged to remain at our registered address in the Netherlands.

It is imperative to follow the recommendations and comply with the rules imposed by the office. This is because the UWV conducts regular inspections, and in the event of any irregularities, initiates the so-called "Handhaving uitvoering", or enforcement proceedings. This can result in the withdrawal or reduction of benefits, as well as severe financial penalties.

What does an inspection by UWV inspectors look like?

Most often, the validity of the allowance is verified on the basis of the forms sent to the office. However, in case of doubt, we can expect a visit from UWV inspectors. During the inspection, officials may ask for the presentation of various additional documents or call for an interview at the UWV branch on a specified date.

If the office shows that the allowance paid was higher than due and it is our fault (we concealed or provided incorrect information), the wrongly collected amount must be returned to the UWV. If the office confirms that we did not comply with the applicable regulations or did not stay in the Netherlands (which is necessary when collecting the benefit), it can demand the return of the amount of the benefit from the moment of proven failure. The UWV also has the right to impose a financial penalty, which can amount to as much as 100% of the illegally collected benefit. It is therefore advisable to become thoroughly familiar with Dutch regulations, as well as the possible consequences, before submitting an application.