Vacation entitlement in case of illness – the legal situationWhen employees fall ill, the employer continues to pay wages for six weeks. From the seventh week onwards, the relevant health insurance fund will take over. Pays sick pay amounting to 70% of the gross monthly wage.
Employees should also pay attention when it comes to vacation entitlement. This is because when employees become ill while on leave, they are credited with the sick days in their leave account. They can then take these vacation days at another time.
What you will learn in this article
Is there a vacation entitlement in case of illness?
As a general rule, the vacation entitlement is extended by the number of sick days in case of illness. This is because every vacation day that an employee can prove to have been sick counts as remaining vacation – provided that the employee fulfills his or her obligation.
What does the labor law say about vacation entitlement in case of illness?
From the perspective of the legislature, the employee is entitled to rest during annual leave. However, if he falls ill during the vacation, he cannot recuperate. Therefore, in this situation, there is a legal right to the return of vacation days as remaining leave. However, the employee must fulfill certain obligations in order to secure his vacation entitlement.
– Visit to the doctor on the first day of illness – Submission of a medical certificate from the first day of illness
If an employee falls ill shortly before the start of his/her vacation, he/she has the right to redefine it together with the employer. An unauthorized extension of the vacation by the number of sick days is not allowed.
When are employees not entitled to compensation for vacation days? Two important exceptions to the sick leave rule concern compensatory time off. The illness of a child during vacation.
– Sickness during compensatory time off does not affect overtime accrual in any way and the employee is not entitled to compensation. – If a child falls ill during the leave and requires care, the leave is unaffected – regardless of the fact that the illness reduces the recreational value.
Have vacation entitlement calculated automatically in the event of illness
Calculating vacation entitlement can be complex, especially when an employee is sick for two weeks, the next two months and again the next two years. With Personio this is done automatically.
What is the vacation entitlement in case of long illness?
If employees are absent due to illness for months or years, their vacation days do not expire directly. According to a ruling of the Federal Labor Court (BAG – 2012), employees can still assert their vacation claims 15 months after the end of the vacation year.
However, the employee can only take the vacation when he is no longer on sick leave. No vacation can be granted during sick days.
If your employee becomes ill in early 2020, starts receiving sick pay in February 2020, and returns to work in August 2021, he or she is entitled to two years' worth of vacation days (minimum entitlement for two calendar years: 2 x 4 = 8 weeks).
However, the BAG has set a time limit for the accumulation of vacation days. According to this, the vacation entitlement expires after 15 months from the end of the vacation year, even without a collective agreement regulation in case of long illness. Example: If your employee has been on sick leave since 2016 and returns in March 2020, for example, he or she is only entitled to vacation compensation for 2019 and pro rata for 2020. Because the vacation entitlement for 2016 expired in March 2018; the entitlement from 2017 in March 2019, etc.
How to calculate the vacation entitlement for your employees in general, you can read in the article "Calculate vacation entitlement".
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