Time off from work if the child is sick

Pia Kotzur has worked as an editor at NetMoms since 2010 and has since been able to gain a lot of experience about what mothers do in everyday life emotional. After completing her studies in gender research and cultural studies, she delved into the cosmos of parent and family issues and now heads the NetMoms editorial team. Even part of a great (and sometimes challenging) patchwork family, they are particularly interested in unconventional family models. Her creed: If it feels right, then it is also good.

An exemption from work is possible for parents who are working and whose child is ill. Find out here when you have the right to leave work and what regulations you have to observe regarding continued wages and child sickness benefits.

In this article

What is the exemption from service?

As a working mother, you have the right to be released from work if the conditions are met. During this time you can fully concentrate on caring for your sick child.

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Here you can find out about all typical teething problems such as measles, mumps and rubella.

Reasons for an exemption from work

According to § 45 of the Social Security Code V, the right of working parents is that the employer releases one parent from work to care for the sick child. Prerequisite for the exemption is that …

  • according to a medical certificate, it is necessary for the parent to care for a sick child at home,
  • another person living in the household cannot take care of it and
  • the child has not yet reached the age of 12.

If these requirements are met, you can have up to 10 working days a year unpaid for each child, and 20 working days a year as single parents. If there are several children, you can request unpaid leave for a maximum of 25 working days, as a single parent for a maximum of 50 working days per year.

If the employer is released from work, he must pay wages?

The current legal situation stipulates that the employer must continue to pay the wages if neither in the employment contract nor in one for the Companies such a continued payment of wages is excluded. So you have to check in your employment or collective agreement whether there is a passage like: "If a child falls ill for the employee for whom no other caregiver living in the household is available, the employee receives special leave without continued payment of the remuneration." if this is not the case, the employer is obliged to continue paying wages for the first five days of the illness.

Child sickness benefit on release from work

If your entitlement to paid leave is excluded in the employment or collective agreement or has already been exhausted, you have the right to unpaid leave in accordance with § 45 SGB V. If you are legally insured and entitled to sickness benefit, you will receive a so-called child sickness benefit from your insurance company as a wage replacement. In the case of unpaid leave, it is 70% of gross income, but not more than 90% of net wages. However, these sickness benefit payments are limited. Each parent is entitled to ten sick days per child, with a maximum of 25 days for several children. Single parents may be absent for 20 days, with a maximum of 50 days for several children. If the leave of absence for care and assistance is required as a result of an accident involving the child in kindergarten, after-school care or at school as well as on the way there or home, the sickness benefit is paid by the accident insurance.


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