What is allowed to do if you have sick leave in Germany without to be fired

Last Updated on August 17, 2022

When my husband received sick leave not with a common cold and bed rest, the question immediately arose: “What, in fact, can and cannot be done during recovery so that the employer does not get indignant?”

In fact, quite a lot is possible to do if you have sick leave in Germany without to be fired, but you are unlikely to want to go to court about this – and the employer will go easily, I have absolutely no doubt. Therefore, we know our rights, but we use them sparingly. You also do not forget to immediately inform the employere about your illness – you may even be fired, although you were quite honestly ill if you forgot to call on time. Fortunately, at least the transfer of the sick leave remains in the past from this year.

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Let’s see what else has changed in 2022.

What is allowed to do if you have sick leave in Germany

1. Basic rule

which you need to be guided by, choosing the type of activity – “do no harm.” Everything is possible that does not harm the healing process.

2. Shopping

The patient should not die of hunger, therefore, no one can forbid him to go to the supermarkt, as well as look into the pharmacy for medicines.

But several hours of shopping is unlikely to help recovery.

3. Travel

Depends on the condition and disease.

With depression, trips are even welcome. It is better to treat the lungs at sea. But it is better to take the consent of the doctor just in case and warn the employer so that he does not fuss in vain.

4. Sport

Depending on the disease, sports activities may be prohibited or, conversely, recommended. However, sports that are too active, like football, will be too difficult to explain.

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5. Walking

Walking is usually not a problem unless bed rest is prescribed.

6. Restaurants, cafes and discos, especially public drinking

and recovery do not suit well, so they are not worth visiting.

7. Solving family / household / … problems

Taking a child to kindergarten when your temperature is 40 can be a cause for argue with the employer. But if you do not have bed rest, then moderate and reasonable activity are acceptable.

For example, the court recognized that it is quite possible to go to an interview with a broken arm.


8. Solving work problems

You do not have to be in full access for your superiors and set up a Homeoffice for them on sick leave. The employer has the right to bother you only for urgent matters that only you can decide.

However, you have the right (and if you are to be completely law-abiding, even you should) to return to work if you feel recovered before the period specified in the sick leave. This does not require a second visit to the doctor.

And one more interesting point: if you get sick during your vacation, you can report it to your superiors – your vacation is canceled, you have the right to take it off later! Of course, here it is necessary to look how realistic it is.

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