In Germany, employees can apply for “Kinderkrankengeld” (child sickness benefit) if their children under the age of 12 fall ill. This regulation is intended to ensure that no holiday days have to be taken to care for a sick child.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the “Kinderkrankengeld” scheme was extended, as schools were sometimes closed due to coronavirus. The number of days on which a parent could stay at home was also increased as a result. This exemption expires at the end of this year. The normal rules will then come back into force.
The German government has revised this “normal” regulation and extended it in favour of employees. From 1 January 2024, a parent can stay at home for up to 15 days a year to care for a sick child. Single parents up to 30 days. If there are several children, a maximum limit of 35 or 70 days applies.
If an employee falls ill themselves, the employer is obliged to continue to pay wages for the first six weeks of the illness. This does not apply to “Kinderkrankengeld”, where the health insurance fund pays benefits amounting to 90% of the net salary from the first day.
Previously, a doctor’s certificate had to be provided on the first day of the child’s illness. For cross-border commuters living in the Netherlands, this means that a notification must be submitted to the UWV. From 1 January 2024, no notification is required for the first 3 days – as is also the case for employee illness. If the child is ill for longer, proof must be submitted accordingly.
Further information can be found on the website of the German Federal Ministry of Health.