Skip to content

What is actually allowed – and what is not?

If we get a certificate of incapacity for work from the doctor, many employees see that as a ban. But: Can I actually work despite being on sick leave? And: What about the visit to the restaurant? We clarify the legal situation for employees.

The cold months of the year are predestined for catching a cold or a virus. The situation on the labor market in recent weeks has shown this more than clearly.

To make matters worse, the corona pandemic or the corona virus has been a year-round danger in Germany for almost three years now, which can literally lay flat workers at any time of the year.

Working despite sick leave: Is that even allowed?

In this context, sooner or later many employees ask themselves the question: Can I work despite being on sick leave? The amazing answer is: Basically yes.

Attorney Oliver Kieferle from the law firm Wolff Schultze Kieferle explains the background to this. He specializes in employment law and has Allianz insurance said:

There is no legal regulation that prohibits working despite sick leave. Because what many do not know: Sick leave does not constitute a ban on working.

Basically, the expert explains that a certificate of incapacity for work (AU) has two tasks:

  • The AU notes that a person is unable to do his or her job at the time of issuance.
  • The AU also says how long this condition is likely to last.

In principle, it is therefore not forbidden to work despite being on sick leave.

Working despite sick leave: What do I have to consider?

So if you feel fit again, you can go back to work. A certificate of health or a medical certificate are generally not necessary or even not considered at all.

However, employees who want to return to work early should urgently seek a discussion with the doctor treating them. Axel Döhr, who works as an employment law expert for the R+V insurance works.

Ultimately, only medical advice can help you make a well-founded decision. Incidentally, this also applies to the employer. He has a duty of care towards all his employees. Doehr emphasizes:

The employer must not agree to this if he has justified doubts about the premature recovery. This can be the case when it is obvious that the flu is not going away, the work could delay the employee’s recovery and there is also a risk that colleagues could become infected.

If in the end the decision is made in favor of a return, the employee should also inform their health insurance company about this step.

Shopping, cinema and sports: what is allowed with sick leave?

Of course, many sick people also restrict themselves privately due to sick leave. However, this is not absolutely necessary. Basically, everything that does not have a negative impact on the healing process is allowed.

That means: A walk in the fresh air is permitted – except in the case of absolutely prescribed bed rest. This also applies to going to the supermarket or pharmacy. However, anyone who has suffered a herniated disc should leave the shopping to others.

In these cases, too, the doctor is the right contact person. Based on the individual illness, he can say exactly what to do and what not to do.

Anyone who acts contrary to medical advice and thus risks their own health not only harms themselves, but in case of doubt also risks their job. If the boss sees you in the disco, you shouldn’t be surprised if you get a warning or even a dismissal.

Also interesting:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *