Many working people in Germany find it difficult to call in sick. This is also due to the fact that superiors sometimes react incorrectly. But what do you do if the boss doubts the sick leave?
Since the heyday of the Corona pandemic, it should be clear to everyone that you shouldn't drag yourself sick to the office. Nevertheless, employees with runny noses, sore throats or coughs can be found in companies again and again. More than a quarter of all employees work with symptoms of illness, according to a recent study by Techniker Krankenkasse (TK).
Working sick? According to a study by Techniker Krankenkasse, a quarter of all working people do this regularly. © Shotshop/Imago
This is also due to the fact that employees do not want to cause their colleagues any trouble or burden them with additional work. In some companies, however, according to Business Insider (BI), there are often accusations from superiors or requests to explain the disease in detail. However, employees are primarily obliged to report sick to their employer and, depending on the company's regulations, to present a certificate of incapacity for work (AU) if required. However, they do not have to provide any information about the type of disease.
Can sick leave be doubted?
Yes, in some cases, the employer may well doubt a sick leave and arrange for an examination by the Medical Service of the Health Insurance Fund (MDK). However, only if there are justified doubts about the AU. This may be the case, for example, if ...
- ... the absence was announced. Example: A leave has been submitted, not approved and then the employee is sick in exactly this period.
- ... the employee works elsewhere. Example: If the employee works in another position/in a part-time job or similar despite AU and is caught, an examination can be carried out by the MDK.
- ... the employee is regularly absent on certain days. Example: It's Friday or Monday and the employee is always sick? Here the suspicion is obvious that there is a deception and the AU can be doubted.
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Your boss doesn't think they were sick? What you can answer
In all other cases, the information that his employee is ill should be sufficient for the employer. What you might answer when asked for details is currently a topic on the online platform Reddit. In the "r/antiwork" forum, users collect various answers to the supervisor's question about the employee's health. We show the three best reactions:
Job: No appreciation and lack of foresight, that's how bosses scare away employees
Your boss appreciates you: Eight signs that give it away
Salary: With what income one counts as part of the "middle class" in Germany
Salary in the civil service: what teachers and other civil servants earn
What is the correct way to call in sick? What the employer should know
Fancy a voyage of discovery?
- "I think it's unprofessional to talk to anyone other than my doctor about my health."
- "This is a very personal question. Can we please stay professional in this conversation?"
- "You are not allowed to ask for the details of my illness."
But there are also other tips among the answers. For example, one user wrote that he always sent very detailed descriptions (such as the vomit) and even a photo or two if his illness was doubted. In addition, some tips were given that were more aimed at the work situation in the United States, such as the number of sick days allowed and what to do if you no longer have any.
In general, the employee can tell his supervisor what is bothering him. What he wants to say, and if at all, is up to him alone. The employer is not entitled to a mention or description of the illness.