Sick leave what is allowed german lawyer information service

Sick leave: What is allowed?

Doing sports, traveling, shopping – are employees allowed to do that when they are on sick leave?? Or must they stay home and stay in bed during the period of incapacity for work? We provide answers to the most important questions about sick leave and incapacity for work.

Incapacity for work: When do you have to call in sick?

Employees must report to their boss on the very first day of their illness before starting work and inform him that they are ill and cannot come to work. They must also inform how long they are expected to be absent from work.

Notification of sickness: When must employees send the sick note to the employer?

Employees need a certificate of incapacity for work from their doctor if the incapacity for work lasts longer than three days. According to the Continuation of Remuneration Act, the employer must receive the doctor's certificate of incapacity for work no later than the fourth day if the illness lasts more than three days. Some bosses require the certificate of incapacity for work in advance, which is common and legally allowed.

The employer may demand that the employee submit a certificate of incapacity for work from the very first day of illness. Then the employee must also visit his doctor if he can expect to be healthy again the next day.

Sick employee: Do you have to take a "healthy leave"??

Those who feel fit again despite sick leave may return to work without another doctor's visit. There is no such thing as a "clean bill of health.

Incapacity for work and sick leave: Who pays the salary or wages??

Employees on sick leave receive continued payment of wages from the first day of their illness. This amounts to 100 percent of the salary, paid by the employer. After six weeks, this payment ends. The health insurance company pays sickness benefit.

Sick during work: employee is entitled to full wages

Employees who fall ill during a workday are generally paid for the entire workday. This has been decided by the Federal Labor Court (BAG on 26. February 2003, AZ: 5 AZR 112/02). For the period after the vaccination, the employer will continue to pay the employee's salary.

Employee appears healthy despite sick leave: sick leave applies

If an employee is on sick leave, the sick leave is valid – the employer cannot simply claim that the employee was healthy. So if an employee leaves the company after starting work with an indication that he is unable to work, he is entitled to his wages for that day, not to continued payment of remuneration. The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Arbeitsrecht im DAV (Working Group for Labor Law in the DAV) informs about a ruling of the Cologne Regional Labor Court of 12 December 2009. January 2018 (AZ: 4 Sa 290/17).

Incapacity for work and sick leave: Can you do sports during an illness??

There is no general answer to this question, because it depends on the disease. "First of all, employees on sick leave must not do anything that prevents them from recovering and getting well quickly," says attorney Dr. Johannes Schipp, Chairman of the Working Group on Labor Law in the German Bar Association (DAV). However, there may be illnesses for which sport contributes to recovery. "In such a case, employees on sick leave are allowed to exercise," says Schipp.

Is it allowed to travel, go shopping or take a child to daycare despite sick leave??

Employees on sick leave do not necessarily have to stay at home and stay in bed, at least not if their illness does not require it. All actions that do not hinder or even promote their recovery are permitted. Therefore, employees on sick leave are allowed to travel, for example, as shown by a ruling of the Hessian State Labor Court. In 2012, the judges overturned the dismissal of an employee who had traveled to his parents during his sick leave in order to recuperate with them (AZ: 18 Sa 695/12).

Even an activity such as shopping is allowed, as long as the sick employee does not prevent his recovery. "But if you have a high fever, for example, and then take your child to daycare, you could get in trouble," says Schipp. "Because this can cause the disease to worsen." In such cases, if the employer learns of the employee's behavior, he or she could ie a warning or even terminate the employee's employment.

Is it allowed to attend an evening study during sick leave?

If employees have been approved for evening study, they can attend even if they are on sick leave. The prerequisite here is also that this does not impair the course of recovery. A dismissal justified with the attendance of the lectures is then ineffective, so the labor court Berlin on 15. April 2016 (AZ: 28 Ca 1714/16).

Employees on sick leave: Do you have to be available?

In principle not. He also does not have to come to the company for so-called sick talks without further ado, as long as he is still unfit for work. But you should be careful: Employees have what are known as fiduciary duties to their employers. If during their illness questions arise that only this employee can answer, this employee should also do so and cooperate.

Incapacity for work and sick leave: May the boss control?

In practice, it happens again and again that employers question sick leaves. This is how a teacher called in sick in Lower Saxony in 2016 -. Then accompanied her daughter to the filming of the RTL program "Dschungelcamp" in Australia. Previously, the pedagogue had applied for special leave – unsuccessfully. The Regional Court of Luneburg considered it proven that the 48-year-old had used an incorrect health certificate. Now she is threatened with dismissal from her civil servant position.

Even in the private sector, employers are allowed to question the illness of their employees. The usual procedure is to call in the medical service of the health insurance in suspicious cases. The medical service calls in employees on sick leave. Creates its own medical opinion. However, some employers also rely on less official channels. Control their sick leave employees themselves or have this done by other employees.

If this form of control reveals that the employee is not ill, this could lead to a suspicious dismissal as an attempt at fraud. Employees at risk of dismissal should consult a lawyer for employment law and obtain detailed advice from him or her on how to proceed and what options are available for defending against a dismissal on suspicion of illness.

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