Any compensation of non-material damages caused by death or accident was until recently not covered by the Dutch civil law. These non-material damages contain the grief of the close relatives that is caused by an event of death or accident of their loved one for which another party is to be held liable. This kind of compensation is more of a symbolic gesture because realistically it cannot be measured to the actual grief felt by a close relative.
Although there has been an introduction by Secretary of State Teeven for the new legislative proposal since the 18th of December 2013, it had been drafted on the 16th of July 2015 and has recently been approved on the 10th of April 2018. They have been pleading for many years now to change the legal positions of the relatives to help them in the grieving process. The compensation for non-material damages in case of an event of death or accidents implies recognition of the grief and redress for those who bear the emotional consequences of these events.
It means that the relatives are entitled to compensation in the event of the death or long-term disability of seafarers’ due to an occupational injury for which the employer is to be held liable. The victims’ relatives can be categorized as:
- the partner
- the children
- the stepchildren
- the parents
The actual amount of the compensation of the non-material damage in an event of accidents or death may differ depending on the context of the event. The amount can range from €12.500 up to €20.000. The new law regarding the compensation of non-material damage in an event of accidents or death will take effect on the 1st of January 2019.