The financial support received by employees on sick leave in Germany is much better than that available in Britain. Unlike in Britain, sick pay is not provided solely by the employer, but also by your statutory health insurance fund. In Germany, your employer continues paying your salary for up to six weeks. In contrast to Britain, there is no qualifying period; this means you are entitled to continuing payment right from the first day of your sick leave. After receiving continuing payment from your employer for six weeks, you become entitled to sickness benefit paid by the AOK. The sick pay amounts to 70 percent of the regular gross earnings, however at most 90 percent of the net earnings received up until that time. You can receive this payment for the same illness for a maximum of one and a half years (78 weeks). If you are unable to work, you consequently receive more financial support for a longer period than is possible in Britain.
The employer must be informed promptly if an employee cannot go to work because of an illness. What the deadlines are exactly and whom you have to contact differs from company to company. To be on the safe side it is best you ask you employer for this information. Insofar as the illness lasts longer than three days, you shall regardless of the circumstances, require a medical attest that is issued by a medical physician, irrespective of whether you have a special arrangement with your employer. You receive two copies: One without a diagnosis, which is for your employer; one with a diagnosis that you hand in to your AOK. Please bear in mind that you must hand in the sick note to your AOK and your employer as soon as possible.