Can parents get past each other’s child sick days?

In times of the coronavirus pandemic, working parents don’t feel like they have enough sick days for their kids. If there are two of you, you can at least take turns. Is it also possible to transfer the days?

The high number of infections currently presents challenges for many parents once again. Especially if they have to take care of their work and their offspring at the same time – for example because the daycare has to close or the children have to be quarantined as contact persons.

The so-called children’s sick days should help. If parents have to take care of their child at home, they can apply for compensation of 90 percent of lost net wages from the health insurance company for these days. But what if a parent has already exhausted their entitlements?

Can a partner transfer open days?

There is no legal entitlement to it, says Johannes Schepp, a lawyer who specializes in labor law in Gutersloh and a member of the German Bar Association (DAV). However, flexible transfer between parents is possible on a voluntary basis. However, according to Ship, a parent’s employer who has already exhausted children’s sick days must approve the transfer.

What rights do parents have when their child is sick?

Politicians responded and increased the number of children’s sick leave days in 2021 – from 20 to 30 working days. According to the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs (BMFSFJ), there are a few requirements for parents to be able to apply for child sickness benefit from their health insurance company:

The parent and child must be legally insured. In addition, he must not have reached the age of twelve. Exception: If disabled children are dependent on assistance, there is no age limit. People who are voluntarily insured can also get money if they are insured for sick pay.

If you have several children, you can also get Child Sickness Benefit – but not every parent can work more than 65 days. The regulation has been in effect since January 2021.

What applies to single parents?

Single parents can apply for 60 days of sick pay instead of the previous 40 working days if they had statutory health insurance. Those who raise several children on their own also get more sickness payment days. According to the BMFSFJ, entitlement is limited to a total of 130 working days per year – and it only exists if you have sole custody and live with the child or children in one home. Under certain circumstances, health insurance companies may require proof.

What applies if one or both parents are privately insured?

If a child is privately insured with the other parent, he is not entitled to a Child Sickness Benefit. This also applies if both parents have private health insurance.

However, privately insured parents can apply for compensation, i.e. compensation for loss of income, if the Corona pandemic has made childcare necessary. The Infection Protection Act regulates the finer details.

Privately insured persons receive 67 percent of their net income as compensation – a maximum of €2016 per month. This applies to ten weeks per parent. According to the BMFSFJ, parents can split the time of day. For privately insured single parents, the term is 20 weeks.

How much is the child sickness allowance and who pays it?

“It depends on whether there are special collective bargaining systems in place,” explains Natalie Oberthor, chair of the Labor Law Committee at the Directorate of Aliens Affairs.

“By law, the employer is required to pay a salary only if the child is sick for a short period, i.e. no more than five days,” says the lawyer specializing in social law. This claim can be contractually excluded.

However, if the employer releases employees because of the child’s illness, they must continue to pay the full salary. The Civil Code provides for this.

However, if this is contractually excluded, then statutory health insurance will step in under certain conditions. This is regulated by the Social Security Act. According to the BMFSFJ, parents typically receive 90 percent of lost net wages as child sickness benefit.

Do parents have to provide a medical certificate if their child is sick?

Yes, there is a special form for this that must be filled out by the doctor and then submitted to the health insurance company according to the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).

Oberthor advises parents not only to file a report with the health insurance company, but also to the employer to justify their absence. So this medical certificate, as well as the certificate issued by the health insurance company regarding the duration of granting the child sickness benefit, can be sufficient, explains BMG.

What if the child is not sick but needs parental care?

New in 2021: Parents with statutory health insurance can also take children’s sick days if child care is unavailable – for example because a daycare center is closed due to the pandemic, or face-to-face classes at school or group child care have been canceled as well Little.

According to the BMFSFJ, this also applies if children are not allowed to go to school, after-school care, or nursery school because of the express test result. Or if the facility is closed based on an official recommendation.

According to the BMFSFJ, parents who work at home can also apply for Child Sickness Benefit if they have a similar need for childcare because of the home office.

What is the best way for parents to apply?

If parents apply to the health insurance company, they can ask them to provide a certificate from the daycare center or school. In this case, parents can use a certificate form from the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs.

You must simply fill out the certificate at the school, daycare center or children’s day care center and submit it as a supplement to the official application from the statutory health insurance company.

How can parents use sick days for children?

It is possible to take children’s sick days flexibly – eg on odd days or only on two out of five working days. However, parents are not entitled to offer half a day.

By the way: A manager shouldn’t ask employees first to cut back on overtime or use time credit before applying for child sick days. Parents have the right to leave.

What applies to parents who work part-time?

“Same thing. Children are given sick pay for days worked, regardless of the hours worked per day,” explains Natalie Oberthor, an attorney specializing in labor law. Whether the days are shortened if a person works less than five days a week is controversial. “However, the wording of the law does not lead to any limitations, so that one can bear the full claim,” says Oberthor.

“Even people who work part-time and have statutory health insurance can claim child sickness benefits if they meet the other requirements,” BMG says.

What applies to a freelancer?

Here, too, it depends on whether the self-employed have statutory or private voluntary health insurance. If the self-employed have private health insurance, the same rules apply to them as they apply to all those who have private health insurance.

A full-time self-employed person who has submitted a selection declaration to the statutory health insurer – that is, has declared that membership must include sickness benefit entitlement – is entitled to sickness benefit and can therefore apply for extended sickness benefit. Social law regulates the claim.

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