As a rule, all employees working in Germany must provide their employer with a medical certificate of incapacity to work after three days of illness at the latest. But does the weekend count towards this period?
Sick leave, the so-called “gelber Schein”, ensures that employees continue to receive their wages when they are ill. Therefore, employees should ensure that they immediately notify their supervisor of their illness and submit a medical certificate of incapacity for work on time. According to the law this must be done no later than on the fourth day of illness. But please note that the time limit for submitting the certificate can be set individually by your employer. Some employers require that the sick leave be presented as early as the first or second day of illness – information on this can be found in the employment contract or collective agreement.
Date for submitting sick leave in Germany: weekends and public holidays also count
Unfortunately, many employees in Germany are under the misconception that only working days count when calculating the deadline for providing their employer with a medical certificate of incapacity for work, when in fact calendar days must be taken into account. So if you fall ill before the weekend, you have to take Saturday and Sunday into account when calculating the deadline. The same is true for holidays that are public holidays.
What if the deadline for providing sick leave falls on a weekend?
But what should you do if the deadline for delivering your medical certificate falls on a weekend? If, for example, you will not be at work on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, you should theoretically present your employer with a sick leave on Saturday. However, in this case it is sufficient to submit the certificate on the following Monday, as such documents must be submitted in Germany only on working days.