Monday, February 13, 2017

When your employee must tell you why he is sick

When your employee must tell you why he is sick
Every employer knows this situation. An employee calls and informs that he is ill. The spontaneous reaction of the employer: "I do not believe that now". The reasons for this can be very different. It is the case that the sickness is reported for a so-called bridge day. Or directly after a weekend. Or because the employee is always incapable of work. Nevertheless, you may only ask for the cause of the disease in exceptional cases. For the employee is usually only obliged to inform you that he is unable to work. Not what he is sick of. In exceptional cases you are entitled to a corresponding information, if:

  1. The disease may have effects on the workplace or other workers, for example because it is a high-risk disease.
  2. There are legal reporting requirements, as is the case, for example, in food production. Even without asking questions you are not defenseless.


If you have serious doubts about the fact that the employee is not really sick and therefore wants to continue to pay the remuneration, you are still not unprotected. Although you are not in principle entitled to ask for the cause of the illness, you can still feel the tooth to the employee.

Pursuant to § 275 SGB V, health insurance funds, among other things, are obliged to obtain an expert opinion from the medical service of the health insurance company , in order to remove doubts as to the incapacity for work. Such doubts are to be assumed, according to the clear law of the law, particularly in cases where

  • Insured persons are often or frequently conspicuous often only inactive for short periods of time or the beginning of incapacity for work often falls to one working day at the beginning or at the end of a week or
  • The incapacity for work has been ascertained by a doctor who has become conspicuous by the frequency of the incapacity for work which he has issued.


As an employer, you can again, according to the clear statutory wording and require the health insurance company to obtain an expert opinion from the medical service to check the incapacity for work. You must submit the application to the competent health insurance fund.

You still do not know what your employees are suffering from. The information that is much more important to you, whether it is actually inactive or not, is available. And, by the way, you send a signal that you can also check your workability if you are diagnosed with a medical certificate.

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