Children’s sick pay has been around for a long time already. Its purpose is to compensate working parents for lost wages due to the care of a sick child at home. Now, the Corona pandemic is demanding a great deal from working parents in particular. Against this background, the German Bundestag passed a resolution on Thursday, January 14, 2021 to increase the entitlement to children’s sick pay for the year 2021. Only the Bundesrat must now agree to the bill; a special session is already planned for Monday, January 18, 2021 on this matter.
An increase in the entitlement to children’s sick pay from 10 to 20 days per child and parent is planned. For single parents, the entitlement would be increased correspondingly from 20 to 40 days in 2021. Couples with two children would be entitled to up to 80 children’s sick days per year accordingly. For additional children, the entitlement is planned to be further increased by ten days to a maximum of 90 days. The regulation is planned to come into force retrospectively from January 5, 2021.
The entitlement is available to parents who have statutory health insurance and whose children are younger than 12 years. For disabled children, the entitlement also applies after they are 12 years old.
Entitlement when School or Day Nursery is Closed
As schools and day nurseries are partially or completely closed due to the lockdown, it is currently even more difficult to reconcile and coordinate work and childcare.
In order to relieve working parents in this regard also, parents will not only be able to apply for children’s sick pay in 2021 if their children are sick, but also if childcare is required for other reasons, for example if the school or day nursery is closed due to the Corona pandemic, if attendance is no longer compulsory there or if individual classes or groups are in quarantine. However, it Is a prerequisite that no one else in the household can take over childcare.
Entitlement Also in Case of Working from Home
From now on, the entitlement to the children’s sick pay will even exist if the parents could, in principle, work from home.
Submission of Certificate to Health Insurance Company
If the child is sick, the parents must send a medical certificate to their health insurance company to prove the need of care. If the child must be cared for at home because the school or day nursery is closed, attendance is no longer compulsory or the range of care available is limited, the parents must submit a certificate from the facility.
Parents must apply for sick pay from their health insurance company. Children’s sick pay is up to 90 percent of the net wages lost.
Relation to Compensation Under the German Infection Protection Act
If one parent is entitled to children’s sick pay, the entitlement under Article 56 of the German Infection Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz, IfSG) is suspended for both parents during this time.
Only parents with statutory health insurance are entitled to children’s sick pay. Parents who have private health insurance and those entitled to benefits must assert their claim in accordance with Article 56 of the IfSG.