Ad Ruis, CFO of supermarket group Schuitema is to leave the company on December 1 because (according to a Schuitema press release) he has ‘a difference of opinion over policy’ with the rest of the board. A good enough reason to leave, you may say.

But Ruis has been home on sick leave since May – and his departure now begs the question: just how sick is he?
Ruis became ill shortly after Schuitema CEO Jan Brouwer’s sudden departure from the company – due to, yes, you’ve guessed it, a difference of opinion over policy. At the time Schuitema refused to discuss the CFO’s sick leave. It was a ‘private matter’, a spokesman told the Financieele Dagblad.
It seems pretty obvious that there is more to Ruis’ sick leave than meets the eye. If you are really sick, you stay on the payroll until you have recovered. You certainly don’t quit over ‘a difference of opinion’ six months later. You quit for health reasons.
But then, of course, in the Netherlands a fight with the boss, whether on the shop floor or in the boardroom, is still seen as a perfectly acceptable reason to become ill. It means you can stay at home on full pay until the dispute has been sorted out. It is a scandalous abuse of the system.
And it would be interesting to know what sort of severance package Ruis is taking away with him as well.

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