What You Should Know About Sick Days in Germany

Verified by 1 expert: Thomas Müller

Understanding sick day policies in Germany is important for your well-being and job security. This guide explains your rights, employer expectations, and how to manage health-related absences professionally.

Familiarize yourself with the legal entitlements to sick leave in Germany. Employees are generally entitled to paid sick leave, which is governed by statutory regulations to ensure fair treatment.

Notification and Certification Requirements

Learn about the notification and certification requirements when taking sick leave. In Germany, employees are usually required to inform their employer immediately and provide a doctor’s certificate (Krankmeldung) if the illness lasts longer than three days.

Duration and Payment During Sick Leave

Understand the duration of sick leave and payment conditions. Typically, employees receive their full salary for up to six weeks of sickness, after which health insurance payments may kick in.

Employer’s Rights and Responsibilities

Know the rights and responsibilities of employers during an employee’s sick leave. This includes respecting the employee’s privacy, managing workloads, and preparing for their return.

Related: Navigating Local Laws in Germany: Noise Complaints and Substance Legality

Employee Obligations and Conduct

Be aware of your obligations and appropriate conduct while on sick leave. This includes adhering to doctor’s orders, avoiding activities that could hinder recovery, and keeping in touch with your employer as necessary.

Long-Term Illness and Job Security

Understand the protections and implications for long-term illness, including job security. German law provides certain protections to employees during extended health-related absences.

Returning to Work After Illness

Prepare for returning to work after an illness. This might involve discussions with your employer about any adjustments or accommodations needed to facilitate a smooth transition back to work.

Managing Recurrent Short-Term Absences

Manage recurrent short-term absences responsibly. Frequent short-term sick leaves might require additional documentation or discussions with your employer to address any underlying issues.

Read More: Finding Healthcare Providers in Germany

Sick Leave and Parental Responsibilities

Recognize the provisions for sick leave related to parental responsibilities, such as caring for a sick child. German law offers specific rights and protections for working parents in these circumstances.

Understanding ‘Kurzarbeit’ in Extended Illness

Understand the concept of ‘Kurzarbeit’ (short-time work) in the context of extended illness. In cases of long-term economic challenges or illness, this system allows for reduced working hours while partially compensating the loss of earnings.

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