Child sick: what employees need to know


What rights do employees have if their child is sick?? Here you will find answers to the most important questions:

Employees are allowed to stay home when the child is sick

You are at work and get the call that your child is sick. You have to pick him up from daycare or school and bring him home. Are you allowed to leave work to take care of your sick child?? Yes, you may. This comes from two laws:

  1. Section 616 "Temporary prevention" in the German Civil Code (BGB) states: Employees are entitled to paid time off if they are prevented from performing their work for a relatively insignificant period through no fault of their own. This also includes the illness of the children.
  2. Section 45 "Sick pay in case of illness of the child" from the Social Code Book V (SGB V) states: Insured persons are entitled to sick pay if they are absent from work to supervise, care for or nurse their sick and insured child. A medical certificate is required for this. In addition, this regulation applies only if the child is not older than 12 years or is dependent on assistance due to a handicap.

Who pays parents when they miss work because of their sick child?

Parents are entitled to compensation if they have to stay home to care for their sick child. There are two possibilities for who pays them this money:

  1. If employers give their employees paid time off when the child is sick, then § 616 in the BGB applies. In these cases, the employer pays the full salary.
  2. If your employer does not do this, the statutory health insurance will step in. In this case, § 45 of the SGB V applies. That is, employees receive children’s sick pay from the insurance company instead of their normal salary.

Note: Children’s sick pay is i. d. R. at 90% of net earnings or 70% of gross earnings.
Tip: If you are unsure, check with your employer whether or not they need to claim children’s sick pay for the day you are off work.

This is how many children’s sick days parents are entitled to

The number of days per year on which parents are entitled to children’s sick pay is regulated in § 45 of the SGB V (German Social Code).

  • Each covered parent is entitled to 10 days of children’s sick leave benefits per year per covered child.
  • Single mothers or fathers are entitled to 20 children’s sick days per year and child.

Important: However, there is a maximum limit for children’s sick days per year, which is independent of the number of children. Mothers and fathers are allowed to take a maximum of 25 sick days per year. For single parents the number is limited to 50 days.

Corona special case: more children’s sick days in 2022

The number of children’s sick days from 2021 that working parents are entitled to has been carried over to 2022:

  • Each parent with statutory health insurance is entitled to 30 children’s sick days per child under 12 in 2022.
  • Each single parent is entitled to 60 child sick days per child under 12 years of age.

Note: There are maximum limits. If you have more than one child, you should note that each parent is not entitled to more than 65 days of child sickness benefit in total, and single parents are not entitled to more than 130 days.

According to the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, the rules apply up to and including 19. March 2022 not only when children are sick and must be cared for by a parent. Parents are also entitled to sick days for their children if they are not ill but have to be looked after at home because z. B. School or daycare is closed due to Corona, or attendance classes in schools are cancelled, or the availability of childcare is limited.

Important: parents who work in a home office are also eligible.

6 steps to children’s sick pay

To apply for children’s sick pay, follow these 6 steps:

  1. Ask the pediatrician for a certificate that your sick child must be cared for by you at home.
  2. Fill in the reverse side of the certificate.
  3. Important: Enter your data (z.B. Name, birthday, insurance number), not that of your child. Don’t forget to fill in the bank details field to receive children’s sickness benefits.
  4. If you are a single parent, check the appropriate box.
  5. Indicate whether you are entitled to continued payment of wages by your employer or not.
  6. When the certificate is signed, send it by mail to your health insurance company.
    Tip: Many health insurance companies now also allow applications by e-mail or via their respective online area.

If you have filled out everything correctly, the health insurance company should transfer the children’s sick pay to you promptly.

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