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How to apply for sick leave in Germany ?

Germany is one of the best countries in the world for employees and students also. One must know about how to apply for sick leave in Germany while they are working.

Apply for sick leave in Germany

How someone qualifies for Sick Leave

In Germany, it’s a law that employers must enroll in the statutory Health Insurance program. Almost all of Germany is covered under this health insurance system. If someone wants to opt-in for additional private insurance, he surely can do. The basic premise for getting sick pay is very simple in Germany as long as you pay for public health insurance you qualify for sick leave.

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Work Sick Leave

One of the biggest benefits for workers is paid sick leave. They are encouraged to take days off when they are feeling unwell. They can take paid sick leave for up to 6 weeks, but they have to submit a sick note from a doctor which is called ‘Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung‘. However, one should keep in mind several rules when taking sick days to avoid any problems.

  • Call employer– One should notify his employer as soon as possible. He doesn’t have to tell his employer about how they are feeling but he might be asked when he expects to work again. Some companies require a sick note on the first day of sick leave, while others companies only do so after three days.
  • Make a doctor’s appointment- One should go to see a doctor, ideally on the first day of sick leave. By law, he has to verify and evaluate symptoms on the first day to write a sick note. A doctor will only write a retroactive sick note in exceptional cases if the doctor’s office is closed on the first day of sick leave.
  • Sicknote (Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung)- The sick note, or Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung, would be written by the doctor and states the number of days for which he will presumably be unfit to work. One of the sheets should be sent to the health insurer and the other is for the employer. By law, one should hand the sick note to the employer on the fourth day of his sick leave at the latest, but the company may request it earlier.

Long term Sick Leave

Workers can take six weeks of continuous sick leave paid by their employer. The health insurer will take over the costs. If someone had sick leave for the same illness multiple times in the same year, these days will be accumulated. After six weeks of regular paid sick leave, he will receive Krankengeld for a maximum of 90 percent of his wage after taxes for up to 72 weeks.

Sick Leave for Child Care

Germany is a very family-friendly country. So a worker can take leave when his child is ill. Often, in this case, those kids aren’t allowed to go to school or kindergarten. So they need support from their parents. In order to take official sick days, workers have to provide a certificate from the pediatrist as a sick note. According to German law, the employer must continue to pay 90% of the net salary if a worker is taking less than 5 sick days in a row.

Sick Leave in the first 4 Weeks of Work

A Worker could take sick days also before have been working for 4 weeks in the company. These days will be unpaid by the employer. He needs to deal with health insurance instead. Most of the health insurance providers pay a salary in full amount for sick leave.

We hope that this article showed you that it is ok to be sick in Germany and not work. Paid sick leave is one of the employee rights which makes Germany an interesting place to work.

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