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Every employee is sure to fall ill at some point. If you have a temperature, cough or other symptoms, you will have other things to worry about than statutory requirements. Unfortunately, you can't quite ignore them. Below is a list of your rights and what you need to remember should you fall ill.
Please check the points below should you fall ill:
In Germany, the principle of free choice applies. This means that you decide which doctors are to treat you. Members of statutory health insurance schemes have access to all doctors and dentists who are accredited by the statutory health insurance system. In an emergency, you can also be treated by other doctors.
Your employer will need a certificate from your doctor after three days' absence at the latest as evidence that you are unfit to work. This sick note is called an „Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung“ and is also known as a „gelber Zettel“. Make sure you check what rules in your case: some companies require a sick note on the very first day of absence. Calendar days and not simply working days are counted, so you must include Saturdays and Sundays when calculating the length of your absence. You will receive three copies of the doctor's note: one for your employer, one for us (your health insurer) and one for your own records.
You must notify your employer that you are ill and unable to attend work. This should be done by the time you are due to start work. If you do not report sick until later, you could receive a warning. Multiple warnings can lead to dismissal on conduct grounds.
Certain treatments can only be provided in a hospital. As with doctors, you can also choose the hospital at which you wish to be treated, provided it is part of the statutory health insurance system. However, not every hospital offers all procedures and certain hospitals only treat private patients or patients who pay for themselves. If you need to go into hospital, your GP or consultant will advise you and tell you which hospital would be suitable. Your doctor will then issue you with a referral form (Einweisungsschein), which you will need to submit to the hospital.
All employees who have been working at a company for at least one month have the right to the continuation of their pay. You should therefore continue to receive your salary despite your illness for a maximum of six weeks.
If your illness leads to an absence of longer than six weeks, your health insurer will pay a sickness allowance (Krankengeld) amounting to 70 percent of your salary. We pay this benefit for a maximum of 18 months. Your doctor must certify your incapacity for this period.
Your employer will notify us of your salary and the date on which continued salary payments end. From this point on, you will then receive a sickness allowance. Your doctor will continue to issue sick notes, which you should send to us. We will then post you the necessary documents. Please note: the sickness allowance is paid on the basis of calendar days. We also backdate the sickness allowance, in other words it applies from when your continued salary payments end. Sickness allowance ends on the date on the sick note.