How to tell your employer if your child is ill

If the child is ill, parents have to stay at home and care for their offspring. What you must now consider in order not to risk trouble with the boss.

Single parents have it particularly hard: If their child is sick, they are often the only person who can take care of the offspring. But even if both parents are working, one partner must stay home. But is it so easy? What does the employer say?

Child ill: Parents are legally entitled to caregiver leave

Mothers and fathers do not have to worry about their jobs if they stay at home because of their sick child. Parents have a right to this Legal entitlement!

The Fifth Book of the German Social Security Code (SGB V) stipulates that each employee may take up to ten working days off per calendar year and child – unpaid. Both parents have a total of 20 days that they can devote to their sick child. Single parents are also entitled to 20 days – after all, they should not be at a disadvantage compared to couples.

However, according to a ruling by the Federal Labor Court, parents can only stay away from work days in a row.

Entitlement to time off only under certain conditions

The entitlement to time off applies to only for children under twelve – and even then only if no other person living in the household can care for the child. For example, if the child's grandmother still lives in the house and can watch the grandchild, the claim does not apply.

Child sick: How do I report it to my employer??

If your child is sick and you cannot come to work, you must report this to the employer as soon as possible – as if you were sick yourself. Also you absolutely need a certificate confirming that your child is ill. However, you must provide this – in contrast to your own sick note – present already on the first day, you do not work.

If your son or daughter falls ill during the working day, you must also inform your employer that you cannot continue to work.

Do I get sick pay when my child is sick??

Your employer will not pay you any wages for the days you take off to care for your child. In the case of employees with statutory health insurance, the health insurance fund will pay sickness benefit for this purpose. Sick pay is normally 70 percent of gross wages, but not more than 90 percent of the net salary.

Depending on the employment contract, some employers still pay full wages – at least for a few days. In this case, the health insurance company does not pay sick pay. In the employment contract, however, the full continuation of wage payment can be explicitly excluded.

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