Can I take a sick leave for a day (or even half a day) to do medical check up in Germany? For example if I need to go to dentist for a visit, or simply to talk to a GP for a consult, even if I'm not technically unable to go to work in that very moment?

My workplace is very permissive and I'm sure they wouldn't ask the reason of my sick leave, but at the same time I'm not sure what I'm allowed.


closed as off-topic by gnat, Thomas Owens, Dukeling, Kevin, mcknz Apr 22 at 21:02

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  • 4
    "as it is asking about company rules" No. There are official rules on when an employee can go to the doctor during working hours, so this is a good general question. – FooTheBar Apr 18 at 10:33
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    @virolino Not every question that concerns laws and regulations is "about the law". Especially in Germany, knowledge about workers laws and regulations is taught in every professional education, from Baker to Quantum Physicist. This question does not need a lawyer to answer. Just a regular knowledgeable professional. See this meta discussion about a general guideline. – nvoigt Apr 18 at 11:41
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    @nvoigt: I had that in mind, that is why I only posted a comment, without using the "close" or "flag" buttons. Thanks for the info, though. – virolino Apr 18 at 11:46
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    "every professional education," No. This is just wrong. A baker most likely learns it in vocational school, the quantum physicist will never hear about it during his time at university. – FooTheBar Apr 18 at 13:18
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    We can tell you what we think ought to be allowed or what is legally allowed (at least, we can quote the relevant sections of German law), but we can't tell you what your employer allows. Your employer might be more permissive than German law, for instance. But you'd have to ask. – user1602 Apr 18 at 15:03

A simple checkup is a private matter and you should schedule it for the evening or weekend. The employer continues to pay you during sick days so don't be too generous with your sick days.

There are however some more rules that could possibly apply: (Arztbesuch während der Arbeitszeit)

  • If the timing of the examination is critical (e.g. blood test which has to be done in the morning), the employer has to let you go

  • Same if your doctor only is open during your work hours.

  • preventive checkups have to be done on your own time

So from a legal perspective, there are some cases in which your employer has to let you go (while paying you 'bezahlte Freistellung'), but you have to exactly communicate your absence (in advance!) and not call in sick, which would be a lie and could lead to an Abmahnung (or termination in case of repetition).

This also applies only if you have a fixed (full-time!) working schedule. If you are working part-time or on a flexible time schedule, the employer can ask you to go the doctor outside of your working hours.

So as a result: Do NOT call in sick, but talk to your employer before you schedule your appointments.

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    You are obviously not sick and fully capable of working. Why would you think that you could call in sick anyway? – FooTheBar Apr 18 at 9:48
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    because an issue that doesn't represent a problem to work now could become that in the future. And if I don't have time to get an appointment in my private time that is indeed a problem. Furthermore, a health problem is a health problem, no matter the urgency. Therefore my question – Carlo Apr 18 at 9:50
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    This answer is overly judgmental. In some countries, taking sick leave for a doctor's appointment is normal. Yes, the situation in Germany is different, because sick leave is still paid and strictly reserved for times you are actually sick. But someone new to the country or unfamiliar with its sick leave laws might not know that. – E.T. Apr 18 at 9:57
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    @FooTheBar that looks a lot better after the edit – fireshark519 Apr 18 at 10:03
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    It's hard to avoid a legal perspective if the question is exactly about the legality of an action. I think the tl;dr 'talk to your employer up front" should make it clear that there is no definitive answer. – FooTheBar Apr 18 at 10:12

Not sure if you are asking this in a legal way or a moral/professional way.

I will address the moral/professional one in my answer as it is what is expected in the workplace exchange.

If you feel that something is wrong with you and feel that you need a check up, then I see nothing wrong with taking time off for it (sick leave).

If, otherwise, you suspect something may be wrong but feel fine, or you are getting a dentist appointment and unable to do so outside of office hours, then you can simply request for time off for an appointment, offering to work the hours missed on a different day.

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    thanks. No I meant purely on a legal perspective. What does qualify as a sick leave. If being unable to work, or a "serious" sickness, or else. The parameters are not clear in my mind and wanted to understand. – Carlo Apr 18 at 9:56
  • @francescobianchi IANAL, we do not provide legal advice in the workplace exchange, if you want you can try checking on the law exchange for advice on that regard... – fireshark519 Apr 18 at 9:57
  • "If you feel that something is wrong with you" that sounds too broad. A sick day is reserved for an acute illness. If you have time to schedule a checkup, it's obviously not that urgent. – FooTheBar Apr 18 at 10:17
  • I'm not sure I agree with that - I have known people with urgent, life-threatening conditions that were only discovered after they went for a general checkup because they weren't feeling quite right. Whether that qualifies for sick leave is likely a jurisdictional and/or company policy question, but unless OP is a qualified doctor they're probably not in a position to say that the checkup is not urgent. I would speak to HR and find out what the policy is. – delinear Apr 18 at 10:45
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    @FooTheBar Someone with breast cancer can feel maybe there is something wrong, but not immediately become unable to work. If they ignore it until they are unable to work, it will have progressed to a stage to where it is difficult to treat. "it's obviously not that urgent." -- While it isn't as immediate, it is far more urgent than a cold -- which many people take off on sick days. – さりげない告白 Apr 19 at 0:36

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