Child sick: sick leave, continued payment of wages& claim

If your own child is ill, their well-being and recovery have top priority for working parents. But what rights do employees have if a sick child must be cared for? The good news: It is permitted to stay at home to ensure the care of your offspring. However, this provision does not apply without limitation. Find out how many days you can take off work to care for a sick child and how sick pay is regulated – and get all the answers to the most important questions when a child is sick..

Child sick: sick leave, continued payment of wages & claim

➠ Content: What to expect

Child sick: Are employees allowed to stay at home??

Yes, the care and supervision of the child in this case takes precedence over the obligations under labor law, if there is no possibility to have a sick child looked after and cared for in another way. The basis for this is § 616 of the German Civil Code (BGB).

A child’s illness Is a temporary prevention, which is not the fault of the employee. Employer must give employees time off for this period. As an employee, you have a duty to inform. If you do not come to work because your child has become ill, you must notify the boss as soon as possible.

Sick child: Notification of illness to the employer

The same – or stricter – rules apply to notifying the employer of sick leave as if you yourself were ill and unable to work. If you stay at home to care for a sick child, you must submit a doctor’s certificate to your employer from the first day onwards. It is best to let your boss know before you start work that you will not be coming into the office and submit the certificate from the pediatrician as soon as possible.

Children’s sick days: How many days off do you get??

So-called children’s sick days allow parents to take time off work to care for a sick child. This right is regulated in the Fifth Social Code (SGB V). Unlike the BGB ("proportionately not significant time"), the number of child sick days is clearly regulated by law.

Sick days for children due to Corona in 2021

Originally, married employees were entitled to ten days off per child. Due to the special conditions in times of Corona, the entitlement for 2021 has been increased. Currently applies:

Pediatric sick days for married couples

Married employees are entitled to 30 sick days for each child in 2021. If there are multiple children, the entitlement is a maximum of 65 working days per parent.

Children’s sick days for single parents

Single parents can take 60 sick days per child. For several children, the maximum entitlement is 130 working days.

The claim also applies, if school or daycare center is closed due to pandemic measures and the child must be cared for. Married working parents can theoretically divide the days between themselves and pass on their own entitlement to their spouse. However, this is only possible if both employers agree to it.

Do I get continued payment of wages in case of a sick child?

If you are released from work for a short period of time in accordance with § 616 BGB, you will continue to receive continued payment of wages from your employer. For example, if you pick up your sick child from daycare at short notice and are back at work the next day, you do not lose your right to your salary – unless the entitlement was limited or excluded in your employment contract.

Use your right to children’s sick days according to § 45 SGB V, the continued payment of wages by the employer does not apply. Instead, you will receive child sickness benefit from the health insurance fund.

How much money is paid if the child is ill?

If you receive continued pay from the employer, you will continue to receive your full earnings without any reductions. If the health insurance company pays the children’s sick pay, you do not get the full payment. The amount in this case is 70 percent of your gross earnings, but not more than 90 percent of your net earnings.

Conditions for time off to care for the child

The legal basis enables working parents to take over the care and nursing of a sick child without having to worry about work during this period. However, this right may be subject to certain conditions.

  • Legitimate, step or adopted children
    You can only take time off from work if it is your biological, step or adopted child. There is no entitlement for godchildren or the offspring of the best friend.
  • Statutory health insurance
    § Section 45 SGB V only applies if the employee and the sick child are covered by statutory health insurance. If you are self-employed and have private health insurance, you cannot rely on this. Appropriate additional insurances can help.
  • No other care in the household
    The purpose of time off is to provide care when a child is sick. There must not be anyone else in the household who could take care of the child instead of the employee. If grandparents who are already retired live in the house, they can take care of the child. However, this only applies to relatives – you don’t have to let a neighbor or friend take care of your sick child.
  • Medical certificate
    You have to prove by a medical certificate that your child is sick and needs care. The obligation to report and provide proof of a sick child always exists from the first day – regardless of whether you do not have to provide proof until after more than three days if you are sick yourself.
  • Age limit
    Sick days for children according to § 45 SGB V can only be taken if the child has not yet reached the age of twelve. A short-term leave of absence pursuant to § 616 BGB, on the other hand, is not tied to an age limit. Here’s how you can stay home even if you have older children.

Is it permissible to leave the workplace immediately for a sick child??

When daycare calls because the child is sick, parents need to act quickly. Employees may in such a case immediately inform the boss and leave the workplace. You do not have to wait until after work or stay even longer. In the event of a short-term emergency, parental obligations take precedence. However, your obligation to provide information and evidence remains. You’re not allowed to leave without informing your boss – otherwise you could get a warning.

Employment law: What to do if the child is sick for a longer period of time?

The bad news: If your child is ill for a longer period or more frequently, the sick days are quickly exhausted. Your employer is not obligated to give you time off beyond that. This is where the company needs to be accommodating. Possible regulations for work in the home office. In the worst case, employees must use their leave when the child is sick.

What you should not do under any circumstancesFake your own illness in order to be able to stay at home. In the event of suspicion, the employer can immediately demand proof from the doctor – and in the worst case, there is even the threat of dismissal.

What to do if your partner is also ill?

It is not uncommon for the child to infect a parent. If, for example, mother and child are sick at home – does the father then have to work or is he released to take care of the child?? If parents are so sick that you cannot work, it is assumed that they also cannot meet the care of the child. In such a case, the other parent has the right to stay at home.

Should there be no possibility, care for the child, there are clubs or emergency child care services in many cities that offer assistance:

  • Emergency mother service

Child sick: Communicate with your boss

The most important tip here is: Honesty and early exchanges pay off. Most supervisors are very understanding when a child is sick and you have to take care of them. If you fulfill your obligations, inform the employer immediately and submit a sick bill for the child, you rarely have to expect problems from the boss.

If you want to make a particularly good impression, you can also offer to do some of the work from home. Of course, this only applies if the care of the sick child allows this leeway. Since you are not obligated to do so, you show your commitment and willingness to meet deadlines, perform your duties, and not let the employer down. In addition, you can still be reached by telephone if you have any questions.

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