Under the Employment Contracts Act, employees prevented from performing their work by an illness or accident are entitled to sick pay. By law, sick pay is paid for the day when the employee fell ill if it would have been a working day for the employee and for each working day included in the following nine weekdays. Holidays are not counted as weekdays.
If the employment relationship has lasted for a minimum of one month, the employee is entitled to full pay as sick pay. In employment relationships that have lasted less than one month, the employee is entitled to 50% of his/her pay as sick pay.
Payment of sick pay requires that:
- the employee’s absence from work is due to incapacity caused by an accident or illness,
- said incapacity was not caused wilfully or by gross negligence,
- the cause of the sickness absence has been demonstrated with reliable documentation,
- the employer has been appropriately notified of the sickness absence, and
- the accident or illness has caused an incapacity such that the employee is unable to perform the duties specified in his/her employment contract.
Sick pay provisions in collective agreements
Sick pay provisions in collective agreements generally differ from the minimum provisions of the Employment Contracts Act. For instance, the pay period specified for sick pay is generally longer in collective agreements than in the Employment Contracts Act.