Unpaid leave rights and obligations i ideal versicherung magazine

Unpaid Leave – Rights and ResponsibilitiesA family caregiver, continuing education, sabbatical. You have to leave your workplace for a while. Do not have enough remaining leave. The solution: unpaid leave. What it is and how it works, we reveal in the article.

What does unpaid leave mean?

Here the name says it all. If you take unpaid special leave, the employment relationship with your employer continues unchanged. It merely goes into a kind of hibernation. The difference to the usual working day is that you do not have to work. However, accordingly, your salary will also be forfeited for the period during which you are on special leave without pay. Continuation of pay in the event of illness and also Sunday and holiday bonuses then cease to apply.

Important: The regulations on protection against dismissal, termination and leave are not affected by unpaid special leave. Furthermore, your employer may also reduce your entitlement to vacation pay, company pension or Christmas bonus.

"Employment for pay is deemed to continue as long as the employment relationship continues without entitlement to pay, but for no longer than one month. Employment is also considered to be continuing if remuneration is received from a credit balance transferred to the German Pension Insurance Association (Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund)." – From the Social Code (SGB) Fourth Book (IV) – Common Provisions for Social Insurance – (Article I of the Act of 23. December 1976, BGBl. I S. 3845) § 7

If you do not work for more than one month, you must deregister after no more than four weeks. How to terminate your social security or health insurance membership. As soon as you start working again and receive a salary, your employer must register you with the insurance companies again.

Entitlement to unpaid leave

The most important thing first: As an employee, you do not have a legal right to unpaid leave. Rather, it is at the discretion of the employer to release its employees without pay. As long as he or she does not do so, the employee is obligated to show up at work. Otherwise, so reports the German craft newspaper, it is a case of refusal to work. In such a case, there may be a reason for dismissal.

– Children: Parents of young children often take time off to care for their offspring. So they can continue to stay with the little ones even after the statutory parental leave has expired. – Family emergencies: If a family member becomes seriously ill and needs care, you can take unpaid leave to assist them. In the case of sick children, the Deutsche Handwerkszeitung gives a limit of ten days per year and parent. Each parent receives sick pay for his or her ten days from the health insurance fund. A medical certificate must also be available for this purpose. The child must not be older than twelve years of age. Employment rights.de, in turn, speaks of six months of unpaid leave in the event of illness of a family member. – Continuing education: Continuing education can also be a reason for unpaid special leave. Here, however, there is also the possibility of taking further training leave. We provide further details on this in our article "Personal development in the job. – Deaths: Deaths are a special circumstance here, because here the salary is often continued to be paid, even if you as an employee take a few days of special leave. The number of days of absence is not fixed by law. It depends sometimes on the degree of relationship, the goodwill of the employer as well as the length of service, whether and how long an unpaid leave is granted here.

Caution: Especially in the case of deaths, it is not possible to make a blanket statement about whether there is still pay, even if the employee in whose family the death occurred takes special leave. Section 616 of the German Civil Code is vague in its wording, so it always depends on individual factors. For example, how close the employee was to the deceased.

"The person obliged to render service shall not be deprived of the right to remuneration by the fact that he is prevented from rendering service for a relatively insignificant period of time due to a cause inherent in his person without any fault on his part. The employee must, however, take into account the amount he or she is entitled to for the period of absence under a health or accident insurance scheme based on a statutory obligation." – From § 616 BGB

In principle, the employer can also refuse all requests for unpaid leave, for example, if he then sees bottlenecks coming in the business. However, usually both sides can come to an agreement. You should then put the corresponding agreement in writing – this way you can prevent misunderstandings. Precise regulations on continued payment of wages can always be found in the collective agreement or employment contract.

Insurance during unpaid leave

When you go on unpaid leave, the insurance cover provided by the statutory social and health insurance scheme remains in place for four weeks. After that, your employer must sign you off. The employment relationship is officially considered interrupted. It is then up to you to take out new private or statutory health insurance. In this case, family insurance is a popular option, through which spouses can insure themselves through their partner while on sabbatical or on vacation. Voluntarily or privately insured persons simply continue to pay their contributions as usual – nothing changes for them. Voluntary statutory insurants, however, must expect an increase in their contributions.

May the employer order unpaid leave?

There is no legal basis for an order unpaid leave on the part of the employer. He can, however, impose compulsory leave. This must firstly be paid. Second justified its. For example, operational crises can cause the employer to send his business home for the time being and put it on hold.

Entitlement to regular vacation

While you are taking unpaid leave, the rules on dismissal and protection against dismissal continue to apply. However, the entitlement to regular vacation – i.e., over and above unpaid vacation – can be reduced by the employer. However, this only applies if the employment relationship "hibernates". However, if the shutdown of the employment relationship is contractually stipulated, such as in the case of a sabbatical or special leave, the vacation entitlement remains in effect. If, however, a reduction in regular vacation is made due to too many unpaid vacation days, this must not cause the employee to fall below the legally stipulated number of vacation days.

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