What an employee is entitled to if he gets sick

What benefits is a worker entitled to if they become long-term sick and how long does the employer have to keep their job? Can he be required to work at least part of the time when he is home sick?

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If you fall ill and a doctor decides you are temporarily unable to work, you cannot work and you receive wage replacement for the first 14 days, but this is much lower than your normal wage. This is often seen as a tool against simulators. Supposedly, many people have already thought carefully about whether they would rather resist the temptation to stay at home for even the slightest ‘rhyme’. In practice, however, this can also lead to people contracting serious illnesses and spreading diseases throughout the work team.

The first two weeks you are entitled to pay

From the first to the 14th day of your illness, you are entitled to wage replacement from your employer. The compensation you get is based on the hours you would normally work if you were not on sick leave. This includes everything, including normal working days, public holidays and shifts you were scheduled to work.

Tip: You are not entitled to wage compensation only during your sick leave. Find out in which situations and how you can claim wage compensation.

The total amount depends on your gross hourly wage. This is calculated by dividing your gross pay by the number of hours you actually worked in the previous quarter.

This means that if you are on sick leave in April, your gross pay is based on the hours worked in the first quarter, January to March.

The value you get is then further reduced. The number of reductions depends on the amount of your hourly wage and the reduction limit is determined by the average wage for the year, this year it is 40 324 CZK. Specifically, there are three reduction thresholds:

  1. hourly wages up to CZK 235.38 are reduced by 90%
  2. hourly wages up to 352,98 are reduced to 60 %
  3. an hourly wage of up to CZK 705,78 is reduced to 30 %

The final amount you receive is then 60% of your reduced gross hourly wage. Let’s illustrate this with an example in which Mrs Jana fell ill in October and was off work for a total of 5 working days. How does she find out how much she will get for this time?

  1. First, she calculates her average gross hourly wage. She does this by dividing her gross pay for July, August and September by the number of hours she worked in those months. Her gross wage was 100 000 kroner and the number of hours worked was 480 = 208.33 kroner.
  2. In the next step, the amount is reduced. As Mrs Jana does not exceed the 1st reduction threshold, this amount is reduced to 90% only. This is CZK 187,5.
  3. Of this amount, Ms Jana then receives 60% and the amount is multiplied by the number of hours she would normally work. Thus 112,5 x 40 (a normal 40-hour working week) = CZK 4 500.

The employer can check if you are sick

In addition to the above, your employer may grant you a more favourable scheme. For example, you can introduce so-called sick days, where the employee can go home to lie down without any reduction in pay.

The flip side of the same coin, however, is that your employer can check that you are at home during the first two weeks that you are receiving wage compensation from them when you are not allowed to go out by your doctor. If you are not at home, your employer can make a file of this fact and send it to you, your treating doctor and the district social security administration.

Tip: Read our article on what you need to know about employer termination.

Your employer does not have to check you personally, but may have designated persons to carry out the checks. Employees should be informed of who is carrying out these checks. In addition, this person must provide you with proof of authorisation to carry out the check.

If your employer has been to check on you but, for example, has not heard from you or you missed the visit, this does not necessarily mean that you are in breach of the walk out procedures. In fact, it is up to your treating doctor to decide whether you have in fact breached the curfew based on the file sent to him by your employer. So, for example, if it says that no one answered the door when the bell rang, the doctor may justify this by saying that you are prescribed strong analgesics that put you to sleep. However, if you grossly breached your temporary disability regime, for example by doing other work, you could face up to dismissal.

Need some advice?

Do you want to know what your rights are during your temporary disability or do you think your employer has cheated you? Let our experienced attorneys answer your questions and help you find a suitable solution.

From the 15th day, the state pays the benefits

From the 15th day of sickness, you are no longer entitled to wage replacement from your employer, but will receive sickness benefits from the state. Even in this case, the amount of the benefit will probably please few people, because even at this stage, moaning is less profitable than working. It is calculated in a similar way to wage replacement. Specifically, it is 60 % of the assessment base (the average of the previous year’s gross wages per day), which is again reduced by up to three reduction thresholds:

  1. wages up to CZK 1,345 are reduced to 90%
  2. wages up to CZK 2017 are reduced to 60 %
  3. wages up to 4033 kč are reduced to 30 %

From the 31st day of incapacity for work, sick pay increases to 66% of the assessment base. From the 61st day of incapacity for work, it is further increased to 72 % of the assessment base. The good news is that in the event of long-term sickness, you will be entitled to these benefits until the 380th day of temporary incapacity for work. Thereafter, it will be considered whether your ability to work has declined to the extent that you are entitled to an invalidity pension.

You cannot be dismissed for long-term sickness

When you return from sick leave, your employer must put you in the same job you had before you fell ill. If that job no longer exists, they can put you in another job. If there is no work for you at all under your contract of employment, you can be dismissed for redundancy. However, it is not an option for you to be dismissed just because you have been absent from work for a long time because of illness.

Tip: We discuss when you can be dismissed for redundancy in our article.

Are you in labor? You don’t have to work, even from home

You are not obliged to do any work while you are temporarily unable to work and your employer cannot force you to do so. If your employer wants you to continue working from home while you are sick, it is up to you whether you agree to this request. Of course, you have the right to forget about work for the duration of your sick leave.

If you want to agree to your employer’s request, it would be more appropriate for your employer to allow you to work from home. In this case, you would be paid the standard wage for your work as if you were working in an office and not on temporary sick leave at all.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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