Continued payment of wages / continued remunerationContinued payment of wages in the event of illness is an arance regulated by law. Learn more about definition, entitlement as well as calculation in the article.
– Author: Sandy Lanuschny – March 21, 2022 – 6 minutes
In Germany, employees have a statutory entitlement to continued payment of wages in the event of illness for their personal protection. This is defined in the Continuation of Remuneration Act. In this article you can find out exactly when the entitlement exists and how the amount of the continued payment of wages in the event of illness is calculated.
Definition: What is continued payment of wages?
Continued payment of wages in the event of illness is a
statutory arance. It obliges employers to pay employees 100% of their wages or salaries in the event of illness for a maximum period of six weeks. Salaries continue to be paid. The regulation on continued payment of wages in the event of illness is intended to ensure that the Basis of existence of an employee in the event of illness remains.
Continued payment of wages in the event of illness: The legal basis
The legal basis for continued payment of wages in the event of illness is the general rule according to the Continued Payment of Wages Act § 4 paragraph 1.
Accordingly, for the period specified in § 3 para. 1 or the period specified in § 3a, paragraph 1, to continue to pay the employee the salary to which he or she is entitled for the regular working hours applicable to him or her. This also applies to the payment of sick pay.
When is there an entitlement to continued payment of wages?
The entitlement to continued payment of wages in the event of illness is linked to certain conditions. In general, every employee who is in an employment relationship subject to social insurance has a claim to continued payment of wages. In this respect, part-time employees, employees in mini-jobs as well as working students or seasonal workers are affected by the Continued Payment of Salaries Act in the same way as full-time employees.
The following criteria must be met for continued payment of wages in the event of illness:
1. The employment relationship must have already existed for more than four weeks. 2. An inability to work must be given. 3. The illness must overlap in time with the regular working hours. 4. The illness must not be self-inflicted.
When is there no entitlement to continued payment of wages?
If any of the above criteria is not met, the employer is not obligated to continue paying wages. Specifically, there is the following to consider:
At least four weeks of employment: If an employee has only been working for the company for less than four weeks, he or she still has
No entitlement to continued payment of wages In case of illness. Inability to work:The illness or injury must result in the employee being unable to continue in his or her job or the work would aggravate his or her condition. An employee with a knee injury can therefore continue to work in an office, but as a craftsman the inability to work would be given.
Time overlap with regular work hours: The incapacity for work must coincide with regular working hours. Vacations, business trips and floating days count as regular working hours in this case. Weekends off and public holidays, as well as holidays off, on the other hand, are not.
Illness without fault: In principle, it is amed that the inability to work is not the fault of the employee. However, there are a few cases by which an absence is considered self-inflicted. For example, if gross negligence or intent led to the inability to work. Selected situations are exempt, such as a Abortion or the Removal of a donor organ.
What must the employer pay after 6 weeks of illness?
The employer must continue to pay wages to its employees in the event of illness for up to six weeks. The continued payment of wages must be paid again for each new illness for a maximum of six weeks. The 42-day entitlement also starts anew if the employee was at work in the meantime and then does not appear at work due to another illness. Continuation of pay ends when an employee is unable to work for more than six weeks at a time due to the same illness. In addition, continued payment of wages is terminated if an employee calls in sick for the same illness with interruptions and the days of absence add up to 42. From this point on, the health insurance company will cover.
How much does the health insurance pay after 6 weeks?
If the inability to work due to a serious illness or injury lasts longer than six weeks, the statutory health insurance pays the insured sick pay. For the same illness and in the case of uninterrupted incapacity for work, sick persons are entitled to payment for 78 weeks within three years. The amount is 70% of the gross salary. Not more than 90% of net earnings.
It is not necessary to apply for sick pay, as the health insurance company itself contacts the employer and employee and discusses the payment. The entitlement to sick pay only applies to those insured by law. If an employee is a private patient or has voluntary statutory insurance, no sick pay is usually paid. However, there is the option of taking out an extra sick pay insurance policy.
What are the employee's obligations?
In order for an employee to be entitled to continued payment of wages in the event of sickness, he must comply with his obligation to report and provide evidence. In concrete terms, this means that he must inform his employer (or the HR department) immediately of his non-appearance in the event of illness. For example, a phone call or an e-mail is suitable for this purpose. The illness should be reported as early as possible, i.e. as soon as it is clear that a working day cannot be started.
From the third day of incapacity for work, the employee must also produce a certificate of incapacity for work from a doctor as evidence. If specified in the employment contract, the certificate of incapacity for work must be presented from the first or second day. The certificate can be brought to the company in person or sent by mail. In some companies, there is also appropriate software that simplifies the transmission of a certificate of incapacity for work.
If the employee does not adhere to the specified deadlines, he may lose his entitlement to continued payment of wages and will therefore not receive a salary in the event of illness. It is therefore particularly important that the employee and employer clearly agree on how and by when a report or proof of incapacity for work must be submitted.