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Sick leave in Germany: Important change from October 1, 2021

Sick leave in Germany: From October 1 this year a government ordinance entered into force that introduces digital certificates of incapacity for work (German: Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung , AU for short).

Sick leave in Germany – transitional period from October 1, 2021 to July 2022.

From October 1, 2021, employees can now request a digital medical certificate and send it directly to the health insurance fund. However, since not all doctor’s offices have the appropriate equipment and software, you should ask the doctor if he has the option of telematic transmission of the certificate.

According to the portal, each employee receives a sick leave also in a traditional paper form.

Important: Currently, each employee is still obliged to provide his employer with a certificate of incapacity for work, because doctors will not be able to send it until July 2022.

According to the ordinance of the Ministry of Health, employees can now send employers a “yellow sick leave” by post, as they have done so far, or if the doctor has the option to also issue a pdf version, then the employee can send it to the employer by e-mail.

In addition, from October 1, an employee can scan a paper sick leave and send it to the company where he works.

In the case of sending the AU certificate by e-mail, the employee is obliged to keep the written original in order to be able to show it in the event of an inspection.

READ MORE: Krankenkasse in Germany. How to choose the best health insurance in 2021

According to the ministerial ordinance, from July 2022 in Germany the existing paper sick leave issued in four copies will be issued only in one copy. Health insurance funds, doctors and employers will receive AU in digital version, and the document in paper version will be issued only for the archives of the private employee.

The introduction of a digital version of the certificate of incapacity for work will reduce bureaucracy and reduce costs – it will no longer be necessary to send the sick leave by post.

It should be remembered that the German labor code requires the employee to submit the sick leave to the sickness insurance fund no later than the fourth day of absence from work. However, the very fact of inability to come to work due to illness, the employee must notify his employer immediately, that is, at the time when he cannot come to work due to health problems.