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sick in the home office: This applies in the event of illness

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 257 views

Sick is sick: If you are sick, you should take it easy and not work. This also applies to the home office. Why is that so important? Do you need sick leave if you work from home? What is allowed with the certificate of incapacity for work? Can you still check email? Read more here!

Companies are becoming more flexible, for many employees the place of work is no longer just the office. More and more people are working entirely or partially from their home office. This has many advantages, for example, the sometimes long journey to work is no longer necessary. It is also possible to be more productive and even more focused in completing your tasks.

But the home office also has disadvantages. Remote workers tend to work even when they’re not feeling well.

Why is sick leave in the home office important?

Anyone who is ill has to recover and give the body time to regenerate. That’s why working despite illness is not a good idea. This puts a strain on the organism and the illness lasts longer than necessary.

But in the home office, the hurdle to work despite illness is lower. But sick is sick. And those who work hard do not recover adequately. The employer shouldn’t expect that either.

If you don’t take it easy when you’re ill, in the worst case you’ll prolong the illness and be absent for even longer. That’s why the doctor’s sick leave is also important in the home office. The time spent on sick leave is used for regeneration and protects the employee from additional stress caused by the job.

Do I need sick leave in the home office?

What if you’re stricken but working from home anyway? According to German labor law, there is no difference between working in an office and working from home. This means that the same rules apply as in the company. However, the rules differ from employer to employer.

In some companies, a verbal sick note to the boss on the first day of absence is sufficient. From the third or fourth day, a medical certificate is required. In other companies, employees must present this certificate of incapacity for work from the first day.

Find out from your supervisor, the human resources department, the works council or your employment contract about the regulations that apply to you. The medical certificate is important so that the health insurance companies will continue to pay wages. That’s why the yellow note is also necessary in the home office.

Can I work despite being on sick leave?

Regardless of whether it is out of a sense of duty, because an important presentation is imminent or because the employee is feeling better: Employees keep working even though they are actually still on sick leave. This applies to work in the office as well as to the home office.

The following applies: Sick leave is not a ban on working. Because sometimes someone is fit again faster than expected. Do you then have to have your ability to work confirmed? This is not necessary for common illnesses such as a cold or a cold . A brief consultation with the boss before you start again is still advisable.

An exception, however, are contagious infectious diseases or serious illnesses. In these cases, you should always follow medical advice.

What is allowed in the home office during sick leave?

In principle, the following rule applies: Anything that stands in the way of recovery or aggravates the illness is forbidden during a doctor’s sick leave. This also applies to working in the study at home with snotty noses and the like.

This means that you can go for walks, do your shopping and, depending on the illness, even be active in sports despite being on sick leave – as long as it promotes recovery. This applies to on-site work as well as to the home office. Checking e-mails or an important phone call are possible depending on the patient’s condition. However, it must never be demanded by the employer.

What you are allowed to do during the illness always depends on the underlying illness. Discuss this with your doctor.

Special case: suspected corona and quarantine

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in spring 2020, employees and employers have reacted more sensitively to slight signs of illness. If there is a suspicion of a coronavirus infection, it is important to always take a test.

If the test is positive, a quarantine follows. Anyone who feels fit despite a positive test and has no serious signs of illness can also work. However, only from home!

Do I have to be reachable despite illness?

No, because sick is sick. If you feel that you keep falling into the accessibility trap in your home office, switch off your phone and laptop consistently. Because the most important task is to get healthy again.

Exceptions are only possible in urgent emergency situations, especially in higher positions. As a rule, however, the employee does not have to appear in person in the office.

What if I get sick while on vacation?

Good news for employees: Anyone who falls ill while on vacation can take back the vacation days. Holidays serve to allow the employee to relax. And when you’re sick, you don’t relax very well.

If you become ill while on vacation, let your employer know on the first day. With a medical certificate, it is possible to have the vacation days credited again.

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