Sick leave – what am I allowed to do?A flu-like infection or a broken finger? – already the doctor ies a sick note. However, many are unsure of what they can and cannot do when sick. This question can be answered with a simple rule: every sick employee must not endanger a quickest possible recovery with his behavior. Irresponsible actions contrary to medical recommendations may result in a warning or even immediate dismissal.
31. October 2012
If the doctor has not ordered strict bed rest, short trips to get food or a short walk are allowed. Exercise in the fresh air additionally promotes healing. Even a visit to a movie theater or restaurant is not prohibited. However, for the sake of recovery, avoid staying in a smoky pub with bronchitis. Further trips can be taken without any problems if they do not prevent the healing process. For example, a stay at the seaside can be beneficial for people with skin problems. Long flights, on the other hand, endanger the health of people with back problems.
Important: For each planned trip, approval must be obtained from the person who makes the payments in the event of sickness. If six weeks have not yet passed, this concerns the employer. After that, patients must contact the health insurance company. Without permission, the continued payment of wages or sick pay is at stake.
Sporting activities should always be discussed with the doctor in advance in the event of illness. Depending on the type of sport, this can help or harm your recovery. In principle, employees are allowed to resume their professional activities prematurely even if they are on sick leave. An additional sick note is not required and the insurance coverage remains valid for both the statutory accident insurance and the health insurance. However, such a decision should be previously agreed with the employer to ensure clarity in the employment relationship. In addition, always inform the health insurance company about an earlier start of work. The same applies to secondary employment. These are also only justifiable if they neither delay nor endanger the recovery process.
As a general rule As a sick employee, one has to behave in such a way that recovery is neither delayed nor endangered. In the worst case, the employee risks a warning or even termination without notice if he or she disregards the doctor's instructions. In case of doubts and concerns about an action, always seek the doctor's advice. But what is an employee really allowed to do when he is on sick leave?? Are driving, walking or even a few days of vacation allowed, if they contribute to recovery?
Table of contents:
Sick leave – what you must do
– In the event of illness, you must inform your Inform employer immediately. In the best case by telephone. – Submit the sick note within three days to the Health insurance to receive sick pay under certain circumstances. – After three days, you must give your employer a medical certificate present. If there are other deadlines in the employment contract, you must comply with them. – Adhere to the Doctor's instructions, To get well again quickly. – Do not carry out any activities that could affect the Jeopardize recovery or delay. Going for a walk or grocery shopping is naturally allowed in most cases. – Go to Do not go to work sick. This will delay your recovery and you may even infect your colleagues. your employer. inform your health insurance company. Here's how you can deduct sick days from your vacation time.
Starting work before the end of sick leave
A good order situation or a brisk customer traffic pushes many an employee to resume work early in the event of illness. On the other hand, fear and concern for the job prevail, so that days of absence are kept to a minimum. With regard to insurance coverage, many employees and employers are unsure whether a sick bill must be considered a strict prohibition of employment. It is not uncommon for superiors to ask for a doctor's bill of health or to refer to keeping a sick bill. A doctor's prescription does not exist in the German health care system. A sick bill must here be considered as a certificate of incapacity for work with the doctor's recommendation for an expected duration of recovery. If the illness is overcome prematurely, there is nothing to prevent the resumption of professional activity. The employee himself/herself is authorized to make decisions about his/her state of health and enjoys at all times his/her full insurance coverage for health and accident insurance on the job. It is important to consult with the employer beforehand and to announce the early return to work. This is also important with regard to the statutory accident insurance of the route. Before starting work, it must be clear that this is a trip to work.
If the prescribed days for recovery remain, the employee should take it easy and rest. In principle, no activities may be undertaken that stand in the way of a quick recovery. In the fewest cases, however, driving is to be counted among these activities. Those who are on sick leave may, for example, go grocery shopping or make another visit to the doctor. However, the reason for the sick leave plays an important role here. An employee with back problems or a torn cruciate ligament should only drive in urgent cases and should not transport heavy purchases. When under the influence of heavy medication, doctors give appropriate advice that driving should be avoided. In case of doubt, always contact the doctor who can give a verdict on the ability to drive a car. Similarly, it is not permitted to operate a car if the doctor has prescribed strict bed rest for the person concerned. Otherwise, there is nothing to be said against a short drive or a walk in the fresh air, even if colleagues do not like the sight of it.
Caution is advised in the case of strongly irresponsible behavior. If the doctor's advice is not followed or if certain actions by the employee threaten to delay recovery, he or she risks a warning and, in the worst case, immediate termination of employment. In the case of a simple cold or flu, walks in the fresh air promote recovery and are not to be considered disadvantageous. Even a visit to the cinema or a restaurant can be tolerated here. Sporting activities, on the other hand, require consultation with the doctor. In part, sport can have a positive effect on the state of health of the person concerned. But not every sport is suitable for recovery. The legal situation is similar for shorter trips. They may be taken if this does not hinder the healing process. In the case of skin problems or respiratory diseases, trips to the seaside, for example, are recommended. Longer vacation flights, on the other hand, are more of a hindrance for people with musculoskeletal problems. The employer's consent must always be obtained for such trips if six weeks have not yet passed. He is responsible for payments. Must be informed here. After the six weeks the health insurance takes over the payments. Must also agree to travel.
Sick leave – for taking care of a sick child
An employee is entitled to a certain amount of unpaid time off per year if his or her child is ill. The prerequisite for this is that both the parents and the child are insured with a statutory health insurance fund. each parent is entitled to a maximum of ten working days per year. If there are more than two children, the entitlement is a maximum of 25 working days per year. Single parents receive double the number of days, as no other parent can stand in here.
– the child is not older than 12 years – an appropriate medical certificate is available – no other person in the household can take over the care – the entitlement to paid time off is excluded in the employment contract
The amount of sick pay depends on the salary . As a rule, 70 percent of gross wages are paid for absenteeism. However, sick pay may not exceed 90 percent of net earnings. At the same time, all social contributions must be deducted from this payment. The pension contributions are withheld directly by the health insurance fund. Health insurance contributions are waived for the duration of the leave. The parents can also transfer the right to days off for a sick child. A corresponding application must be made to the health insurance fund.
In the case of private health insurance, this entitlement to sick pay does not exist. A more detailed regulation can be found in the contractual bases. Normally, parents are allowed to take sick leave and stay at home with their child, but there is no financial entitlement to benefits.
From when does the health insurance pay?
In principle, the employer continues to pay the employee's salary in full during the first five days of the child's illness (Section 616 of the German Civil Code). The health insurance company will only cover the illness from the sixth day onwards. If the special leave is not granted, the parent is entitled to unpaid leave and children's sick pay, which is covered by the health insurance fund.
Transfer of days off for child care
In principle, each parent has 10 days in which to care for his or her sick child. If the 10 days of one parent are exhausted, it is possible to transfer the remaining days of the other parent. The prerequisite is that both employers agree. There is no fundamental legal entitlement.
Tip: If all the days are used up and the employee does not grant additional time off, parents can turn to the youth welfare office. All parents have a legal right to this care assistance.
What to consider when taking sick leave on vacation?
If an illness falls on an already planned vacation period, this does not expire. In this case, the employee is considered to be "unable to take leave". If you do not want to let your days off lapse, contact your employer on the first day of incapacity for work and inform him of your condition. As in other cases, one goes to the doctor afterwards. Obtain a certificate.
Special care must be taken if the sick person is on sick leave for a longer period of time and wants to go on vacation during this time. In this case, one should contact one's health insurance company beforehand. Otherwise one runs the risk that the sick pay for the vacation period is cancelled. The rule is that the sick person may only engage in activities that are beneficial to his or her health. It is also not appreciated if one interrupts ongoing treatments for a vacation.
In order to avoid difficulties with your employer, you should inform him/her even if you have received the approval of the health insurance company. This is not absolutely necessary, as you do not receive a salary while receiving sick pay, but it is nevertheless recommended in the interest of a transparent working atmosphere.
Economic consequences of the illness of employees
Health is the most valuable human asset. No one wishes to become ill. Certainly, a person does not wish to be ill for a long time or even chronically. However, illnesses do not only have an impact on a person's health.
Illnesses also have far-reaching economic and financial consequences, especially if it is an illness that requires a long period of treatment and can later possibly lead to a reduction in professional performance. However, sick leave of employees not only has consequences for the impairment of their own economic situation, but in many cases it also affects the economic situation of the company in which the employees are employed.
Sickness notifications of employees, which are within the usual framework in which people are affected by flu, an accident or other health impairments, are part of the normal daily routine in the company. A company should be prepared for the fact that employees will also have to take sick leave from time to time. The company must be able to cope with this as well as the vacation that employees are entitled to each year. It becomes problematic when there is a massive accumulation of sick leave in the company, when much similar illnesses occur among employees, or when there is an accumulation of sick leave especially in certain workplaces. Similarly, if an individual employee goes to the doctor frequently and is on sick leave, is absent from work briefly for a day with sick leave, or is on sick leave for a very long time, or has to stay home repeatedly for long periods of time due to a chronic illness, this can also affect the operations of the business. In the case of employees on long-term sick leave, companies not only pay for the absence of the sick employee, but also the costs of continued payment of wages for a period of six weeks.
Furthermore, the sickness rate has an effect on the benefits of the health insurance companies, whereby the statutory health insurance companies are meant here in particular. For example, the sick pay of the statutory health insurances during the years 2004 to 2011 amounted to 8.53 billion euros.
This list of the economic consequences of illness at work is in no way intended to imply that employees should no longer exercise their right to call in sick when they are ill and receive good medical treatment. The health of employees is also desirable for every entrepreneur. What is allowed during sick leave?
Investigate causes within the company
If a company has an above-average number of employees who repeatedly call in sick, companies should investigate what the causes might be. Very frequent illnesses often indicate problems at the workplace. High sickness rates can be caused by a poorly designed workplace, a general overload of employees and other reasons for sick leave. The supervisor, the employees themselves, or the works council should be involved. Improving working conditions, teamwork and personal responsibility, and making changes to workplaces can help reduce the incidence of illness among employees.
If an individual employee is very frequently ill, either for a short time or for a longer period, a discussion can be sought before immediate dismissal for personal reasons is pronounced. The return-to-work interview after the sick leave can also be used for reintegration purposes. It is often possible for an employee whose performance is reduced because he has been ill for a long time to be deployed in another area of activity in the company.
Of course, the boss does not have the right to ask an employee who has called in sick about the nature of his illness. If there are special reasons for this, the medical service can be called in. Neither the employee nor his doctors are obliged to provide information to the company. If there is a trusting relationship between supervisors and employees, the latter will, however, also disclose the nature of their illness. In certain cases, this can also lead to the employee being offered a different field of activity, provided that this is acceptable to the company.
Cardiovascular diseases are still statistically far ahead when employees are on sick leave. While musculoskeletal disorders were almost on a par with mental illnesses as recently as 2008, burnout and depression have now caught up strongly. According to TK (Techniker Krankenkasse), every 15. One day of the incapacity to work of employees who are on sick leave can be attributed to depression. Since these three major illnesses can often be influenced by changes in the company, managers should work in the interests of the company to reduce illness rates. Of course, not all causes of frequent illness are to be found in the company, but this possibility should be mitigated.
Termination of sick employees, termination for personal reasons
If employees report sick very frequently, this has an impact on the company. Especially in small businesses and medium-sized companies, serious delays in operations can occur if employees call in sick very often, a specialized employee is frequently absent because he or she is on sick leave, or several employees are absent at the same time. Since the doctors' duty of confidentiality and data protection prevent the employer from inspecting the prognosis of the employee's illness, termination for personal reasons is sometimes somewhat difficult. However, this prognosis of the employee's state of health is decisive for the company if an employee often takes sick leave. There remains the way to the medical service of the KV after § 275, SGB V. A medical opinion is then ied by the MDK directly when the employee submits his or her next sick note. A conclusive statement of reasons is required for this, as written in labor law. If the medical prognosis of the illness stands in the way of continued employment, the dismissal can be pronounced for personal reasons.
A poor health prognosis exists if no improvement in the state of health is forecast for the time being or employees will be permanently restricted in their job, for example, they will no longer be able to drive a car in the field, operate machinery or perform heavy physical work. This path does not have to be taken in companies with fewer than 10 employees, as protection against dismissal does not apply here.
Frequent short absences that are not medically justified by illness can, of course, be grounds for dismissal, especially if employees do not produce a medical certificate stating that they were ill, even after being asked to do so.. Even though many employees believe they cannot be terminated while the company is on sick leave, termination for personal reasons is possible even while on sick leave. Where it applies, the protection against dismissal must be observed, the dismissal must be properly justified. It is clear that during a probationary period, termination can take place without a reason, regardless of whether the employee is ill.
Nevertheless, especially in the case of dismissals and warnings when employees submit sick certificates too frequently, it is necessary for the entrepreneur to show tact. In difficult and legally uncertain cases, legal assistance should be sought. However, it should always be considered that especially in difficult cases, when employees are ill, even if they temporarily affect the business, the conversation should be sought first. Trusting cooperation between supervisors and employees is often the best basis for avoiding complicated and annoying legal procedures.
Termination due to illness
What role does occupational integration management (BEM) play in the event of dismissal due to illness??
If an employee is ill for more than six weeks at a time within a year or is repeatedly unable to work, the employer is obliged to look for ways to prevent future incapacity for work or to take appropriate measures. to restore the ability to work (§ 84 para. 2 sentence 1 of the Ninth Book of the German Social Security Code). BEM is provided both in the case of a severe disability and in the case of a minor disability.
If the employer forgets BEM measures before the sickness-related dismissal or. makes mistakes, he makes himself vulnerable in the context of a dismissal protection process. Under certain circumstances, the termination can be declared invalid.
What to do in case of dismissal due to illness
If you have received a notice of termination due to illness, you must decide within three weeks of receipt whether you want to take action against it. In this case, you have the remedy of an action for protection against dismissal (§ 4 sentence 1 KschG). If you miss the deadline, however, the termination is considered legally valid from the beginning in any case.