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PhD ceremony Mr. A.M.P. Rijpkema: Toegang tot het recht bij ziekte en arbeidsongeschiktheid. Procedures en rechtsbescherming in de publiek-private mix

When:Th 07-11-2013 at 16:15

PhD ceremony: Mr. A.M.P. Rijpkema, 16.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Toegang tot het recht bij ziekte en arbeidsongeschiktheid. Procedures en rechtsbescherming in de publiek-private mix

Promotor(s): prof. G.J. Vonk, prof. W.A. Zondag

Faculty: Law

Bram Rijpkema’s study is about access to justice in disputes regarding illness and incapacity for work. The social security system in this area has changed in recent years. Employer responsibility has increased by introducing the mandatory continued payment of wages during periods of illness under private law for a period of 104 weeks and premium differentiation and risk exposure in the WIA, the Dutch Act on Work and Income according to Capacity for Work. This is related to a new focus on reintegration. At the same time the government has a more distant role as a framework creator and supervisor. Noteworthy instruments in this regard are the expert opinion of the UWV, the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency, in disputes between employer and employee and the wage penalty by which the continued payment of wages is extended by the UWV for up to 52 weeks. With this division of responsibilities between government, employer and employee the current system meets the definition of a ‘regulatory welfare state’.

Changes in rights and obligations also affect legal protection. Civil proceedings concerning wage claims have for example replaced administrative procedures about entitlement to sickness benefit. Also, the employer who is a self-insurer is considered to be an administrative body with all that this entails. Rijpkema examines whether and to what extent the access to justice of employers and employees is compromised by such changes in the procedures. For example, is it possible for someone to assess in advance which are his rights and how he can give effect to them? Is the system, including its special procedures, comprehensible? And is it possible to fully and finally resolve a dispute?

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