Labor law Am I allowed to go on vacation despite being on sick leave??
No sooner are the vacations in sight than suddenly your throat starts to scratch: But are you allowed to go on a trip, although you have given a yellow note? And where?
Flying on vacation despite sick leave – is it that simple??
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Vacations at last! The hotel has long been booked and the trip is imminent – and suddenly symptoms such as a cold, cough or fever become widespread. A horror scenario for employees – especially if the doctor subsequently insists on bed rest. But what should be considered in such cases? Can I go on vacation despite sick leave?? Can I leave the country? And: do I have to inform my employer about my whereabouts? You can find the most important answers here.
May I travel during sick leave?
Yes, in principle employees may begin despite a sick leave their planned vacation. However, possible trips are subject to conditions: If the trip seriously jeopardizes the employee's recovery, he or she may not travel. In a discussion with the physician it must be clarified whether and to what extent the planned vacation the "re-establishment of the ability to work" is possible could endanger. The purpose of recreation should always be in the foreground. "The employee meets during this time a so-called increased duty of care against himself", says the specialist lawyer for labor law Daniel Brugger
. According to it a so-called individual case consideration is valid. "In some cases, traveling can even be beneficial, for example, for a cure or recuperation trip", so the lawyer.
Employees should weigh up very carefully whether they want to take their vacation as planned. In the worst case Termination without notice, as a ruling of the BAG (ruling of 2. March 2006 – AZ 2 AZR 53/05 ) shows. Here, an employee, who was on sick leave due to concentration problems caused by meningitis, traveled to a skiing vacation. "Participation in a pilgrimage is also inadmissible if one has pneumonia. The same applies to participation in a soccer match", according to Brugger.
Can I also go abroad?
When traveling abroad, the principles described above apply first of all. However, if the employee is on sick leave for longer than six weeks and is thus entitled to sick pay, the following must be observed:
The entitlement to sickness benefit from section 44 SGB V is suspended according to section 16 paragraph 1 sentence 1 SGB V if the insured person is abroad. The claim is suspended pursuant to section 16 para. 4 SGB V, however, does not apply if the employee obtains the consent of his statutory health insurer before starting the trip. If employees travel within the EU, the insurance company is obliged to agree to the request. This was clarified by the Federal Social Court in an oral hearing (AZ B 3 KR 23/18 R).
What do I have to consider in case of depression?
). But what applies if an employee is declared unfit for work by a doctor due to depression?? In fact, there are no particularities to be observed.
In this case, too, it must be determined on a case-by-case basis whether the leave jeopardizes recovery. In all probability, a cure in the Alps or at the sea will not be inadvisable, since it could serve the recovery of the employee.
Do I have to inform my employer about my whereabouts?
No, the boss or the health insurance company have no right to be informed about the whereabouts. This changes, however, if the employee is already abroad when the incapacity for work begins. "The obligation includes not only the notification of the place of stay, but also the immediate obtaining of a certificate of incapacity for work", says attorney Brugger.
Can illness be interrupted by vacation?
An employee who falls ill and is unable to work must refrain from doing anything that could delay recovery. This also means that under certain circumstances the employee is obliged not to take a vacation.
In accordance with the provisions of Section 9 BUrlG, sick days during vacation may not be counted towards annual leave. "The background to this ruling is that a sick employee is not obliged to work. If the obligation to work has already ceased, the purpose of the vacation – to recover from the obligation to work – can no longer occur", explains the lawyer. Section 9 BUrlG also covers the case that the illness occurs before the start of the vacation.
First sick, then vacation, then sick again – is that a problem??
You are sick, get well in time for your planned vacation, and – for whatever reason – are suddenly incapacitated again after the vacation. Your boss is not to be envied in such a case. But what can he do about it? This depends on the circumstances. In principle, such a case can occur without the employee having to fear any consequences.