Stress, poor sleep, trouble with your partner: can employees simply take sick leave in such cases? Or are there any consequences under labor law?
Anyone who is in bed with the flu cannot go to work and takes sick leave, of course. But what about if you are not sick in the traditional sense, but have slept badly for nights, for example, or have severe lovesickness – and do not feel able to work?
To do this, one has to look at the definition of the term incapacity for work. According to Alexander Bredereck, this is always the case when the employee is unable to perform the work that he owes the employer contractually due to an illness.
Doctor makes decision about incapacity for work
“Stress, bad sleep or anger with the partner are not diseases,” says the specialist lawyer for labor law. “But they can be consequences, side effects, cause or symptom of an illness.” In such cases, these are often psychoses, depression or burnout.
The decision as to whether an employee is unable to work is ultimately made by a doctor. The practice issues a certificate of incapacity for work, often called a “yellow certificate” or a sickness certificate.
There is a risk of dismissal in the event of deception More on the subject
“Of course there are also employees who take sick leave and fake the symptoms,” says Bredereck. At the same time, there are doctors who are easily at hand with the health insurance certificate. “In both cases, the employee is threatened with trouble with the employer,” warns the legal expert. In addition to dismissal due to frequent illness, dismissal due to feigned incapacity for work is also possible.
In addition, has the Federal Labor Court has strengthened the rights of employersto question a certificate of incapacity for work (AU) of their employees. Overall, it is quite questionable “whether the evidential value of the certificate of incapacity for work will continue to be maintained to the present extent over the next few years,” said Bredereck.