S as in Sick pay and continued payment of wages

When do I receive continued pay?

Labor law usually intends that wages are only paid for the time during which the employee has actually been working. Continued pay refers to the employer’s obligation to pay a salary even though the employee does not perform any work in return, sick pay being the most notable cases. These cases are regulated in the Continued Remuneration Law (Entgeltfortzahlungsgesetz, EntgFG). In addition to public holidays, this is especially the case if the employee is unable to work due to a medical condition.

What do I have to do if I am sick and am unable to work?

In the event of illness, the employee is required to inform the employer as soon as possible that she or he is unable to work and inform about the duration of her or his incapacity. If the inability to work lasts longer than three days, the employee must submit a medical certificate no later than on the fourth day of illness.

The employer has the right to request the certificate earlier. The underlying reasons for the inability to work do not have to be stated.

If the employment relationship has lasted longer than four weeks, the employer is obliged to continue to pay the full amount of remuneration for a period of six weeks if the employee is unable to work due to illness for which she or he is not responsible.

The amount of continued pay does not take into account overtime pay and bonuses outside the regular working hours. However, performance-related remuneration components such as commissions are taken into account with an average value. Performance bonuses must also be continued to being paid.

How long will I receive sick pay?

The employer’s obligation to continued pay ends if the illness lasts longer than six weeks. It is replaced by so-called sickness benefit, which is paid by the statutory health insurance. It amounts to 70% of the gross salary, but not more than 90% of the net salary. Entitlement to sickness benefit is for a maximum of 78 weeks.


Please note: This is a very general overview on the subject of sick pay under german labor law. If you need help in your particular case, please do not hestitate to contact me or book your appointment. I’m happy to help.

An employee is sick in bed and hopefully relying on sick pay