Sick child? What now?

Sick child? What now? Child sickness allowance in Germany

When the flu viruses are around, parents sometimes tear their hair out. Because what are you supposed to do when a child is sick and you can’t go to work because of it? Employees in Germany are entitled to additional days off if they have to care for a sick child. This also applies to Dutch people who are employed in Germany. If a child is sick, you as an employee can be released from work. In addition, compulsorily or voluntarily insured persons are entitled to so-called ‘child sickness allowance’ for a certain period of time.


Compulsorily or voluntarily insured persons are entitled to child sickness benefit during the time that their child is sick if:

  • a doctor writes a certificate stating that the insured person needs to stay at home to care for their sick child and cannot work
  • there is not another person in the same household who can provide this care
  • the child is under 12 years old or disabled and in need of help.

Limited duration

Each parent who fulfils the above conditions is entitled to child sickness allowance for a maximum of 10 days per calendar year for each child. In the case of a single parent, the maximum is 20 days. If there are several children, the number is increased proportionately. In total, each parent is entitled to a maximum of 25 working days of child sickness allowance per year. For single persons, the maximum is 50 working days. Days on which employers give their employees paid time off are offset against this. No children’s sickness allowance is paid for these days.

Amount of children’s sickness allowance

As a rule, the health insurance company reimburses 90 per cent of the net salary not received. In months in which the employee receives one-off payments from the employer, such as holiday pay and Christmas bonus, even 100 per cent is reimbursed. The maximum amount is € 109.38 per day (2020).

More child sickness benefit days in 2020

Due to the Corona pandemic, parents will have to care for their sick child at home more often this year. Due to the Hospitalisation Act (KHZG), which came into force at the end of October 2020, employees with legal health insurance in Germany who meet the requirements for child sickness allowance will have more days of entitlement to the child sickness allowance. These additional days only apply for 2020. Each parent will thus have 15 days of entitlement per child in 2020 (instead of 10 days of child sickness allowance per child). Single parents have a temporary entitlement of 30 working days per child. If there are several children, the entitlement is a maximum of 35 working days or, in the case of single parents, a maximum of 70 working days.

It is worth noting that the entitlement can also be granted for past periods this year.This means that insured persons who actually no longer had any children’s sick days and who took unpaid leave from their employer can apply for these past days.