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My Child is Sick - What now?

Am I entitled to time off work if my child is ill?

Employees are entitled to time off work to look after their child if the child is ill or in need of long-term care. A doctor’s note must be presented stating that the sick child requires care and that no other person living in the same household is capable of providing this care. In such cases, the employee is entitled to the following types of leave:

Unpaid leave from work (SGB V § 45)Paid leave from work (TVöD § 29)

The number of days of unpaid leave is as follows:

  • Two-parent families: 10 working days per parent per child in a given calendar year; a maximum of 25 working days per parent for families with more than two children.
  • Single-parent families: 20 working days per child in a given calendar year; a maximum of 50 working days for single parents with more than two children.
  • During unpaid leave, statutory health insurance providers pay their insured members (i.e. the father or mother) sickness benefit. If unpaid leave is required to care for or look after a child who has had an accident in kindergarten, in after-school care, at school, on the way there, or on the way home, sickness benefit is paid by the statutory accident insurance system.
  • If an employee or their child is not covered by statutory health insurance, the employee is entitled to paid leave from work in accordance with Section 29 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD).
  • If a child under the age of 12 is seriously ill, the employee may be released from work for up to four working days in one calendar year.
  • For children under the age of 8, employees may also take leave if the child‘s carer (e.g. unemployed partner, childminder) falls seriously ill.

How do I apply for time off work?

The doctor looking after your child decides whether it is necessary for you to take time off work. Employees must present the doctor’s note with which they have been issued to their boss and send a copy to their human resources manager at Personnel Management (P-B). Sickness benefit is calculated by the statutory health insurance provider after receipt of an electronic copy of the employee‘s payslip from P-B. The level of sickness benefit paid depends on the insurance cover.

Flexible working hours

Forschungszentrum Jülich offers employees additional options for flexible working hours. These are often helpful if you have to react at short notice or on a long-term basis to your child‘s illness. They include flexitime, ad hoc teleworking, and teleworking.


Your human resources manager at Personnel Management (Intranet)