Child sick, blogpost

When your child is sick

Children are of course demanding care and attention when they are sick. And this has luckily been taken into account, so you don’t have to risk your job. In some workplaces the opportunities are more extensive than others. We will take you through which rules count for all workplaces and which counts for only some and what your collective agreement usually gives you the right to. 

You should be able to prioritize your child when it gets sick or has endured an injury and is therefore not able to attend daycare or school without it negatively affecting the relationship between the employer and the employee. Therefore, the ‘’Law of the employee’s right to absence from work due to special family conditions’’ has been made (ed.). This law ensures all the employee’s right to time off in case of ‘’acutely occurred health conditions’’. The character of the sickness is not defined other than that it has to be ‘’absolutely necessary, force majeure’’ to be home, but it is the entitlement that is typically called ‘the child’s first sick day’ (ed.). 

The right to absence or time off and the conditions for these are not specifically described and this is worth noting because it opens the opportunity for interpretation of when the sickness is acute and absolutely necessary so that you are forced to take the time off. This means that the same rule counts when you have to take time off due to other family members sickness or accidents. This will typically be in connection with a life threatening disease because adults are in almost any case able to take care of themselves even during being sick.

My child is sick – do I have the right to take time off from work? 

The regulation about absence due to sickness in the family does not say anything about when you are too old, so there is not an 18-year old limit. Quite the contrary as many teenage kids will be able to take care of themselves, and in this case there is most likely not an ‘absolute necessary’ reason for taking time off and in any case it may only be the first day, that the sickness can be that acute, that you cannot find an alternative to care of the child. This is the essence of the term ‘child’s first sick day’. 

This rules out the theoretical opportunity that every parent can take a ‘first’ sick day and thereby attain two days off without using vacation days. It is the child’s first sick day – not the first day of sickness that the parents are taking for the child. And it is only one parent that can take the time off. On the second day of a sickness it is difficult to argument, that the character of the disease is still acute. 
Be aware that the legislative provision about absence from work due to special family conditions does not give the right to payment during the absence. The employer is still able to draw you in wage for your absence. Nonetheless, many have the right to payment during the absence, and this leads us to the next and essential point.

What does my work agreement say about the child’s first sick day?

It is obviously individual from work agreement to work agreement what the rights are in connection with the child’s first sick day. But typically, it gives you the right to payment – and in some cases even several days with a wage. This can be written in your work agreement or other local rules in your workplace and this is evidently something that your employer should be able to explain to you – alternatively your work union. As mentioned earlier, it is fixed that the parents are working under a collective record and they can therefore not both make use of the first sick day. If they both have the right to two days of absence, this can optionally be shared between the parents. 

Which conditions should be met on the child’s first sick day according to the work agreement? 

Again, it is individual from agreement to agreement, but typically the following is required: 

  • …the child has to be under 18 years of age
  • …the child lives at home with you
  • …it is necessary to stay home for the sake of the child
  • …it is practically possible to stay home from work

The employer can not use the child’s age as an argument for it being unnecessary to stay home as long as the child is under 18 years. But when it is also a requirement that ‘’it is necessary to stay home for the sake of the child’’, the employer can with good reason question the absence. Similarly, it should be possible to leave your workplace without e.g. leaving a terminal patient to themself.  

Keep track of the absence

With a digital time registration system such as Intempus, it can be made easy and clear for both the employee and the employer or the administrator to handle all forms of absence: vacation, time off, maternity and of course care days and periods of absence in connection with a sick child. The employee simply registers the hours as, for example, ‘care days’ or ‘the child’s first sick day’ directly on the app, after which the administrator can easily approve and get an overview of the reported (absence) hours in Intempus Web. In this way, the employees’ hours and absence balances are always under control.

Are you curious about how Intempus can ease the working day and make absence registration easy, safe and correct for you and your company? Then book a demo completely free and without obligation here:

Or give us a call on: +45 26390400

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