Rules in Relation to Long-Term Illness
What meetings and deadlines should I be aware of during my illness? What happens at a sickness absence review meeting? And what do I do if my employer asks for documentation for my illness? Get help and support during long-term illness.
If you are ill over a shorter period of time, the procedure is typically quite straightforward. However, if your illness extends over an extended period of time, i.e. several weeks, your rights and options may be more difficult to assess, but basically you have the same rights as for shorter periods of illness, i.e. the right to:
- Paid absence for, e.g. medical visits, physiotherapy, hospitalisation etc.
- Use of the healthcare insurance, which covers everyone within the financial sector.
- Full salary during your illness, i.e. the salary you are normally paid, including flat-rate allowances. However, you will not be paid for agreed overtime work (special rules apply to insurance agents).
As an insurance agent, you are entitled to salary during illness. As a starting point, you must receive your regular salary plus a compensation for your variable salary. Your employer generally calculates this via an average calculation based on your gross income for the past 12 months, which comes from acquisition commission of your own underwriting. Your employer deducts the repayment of premium from the above amount. If you have been employed for a shorter period of time, the calculation will be made from the date of your appointment.
Read more about paid absence and healthcare insurance
The typical process for a long-term illness is as follows:
- After three to 14 days: Your employer may ask you for a solemn declaration, i.e. a declaration stating that you are ill, which is signed by you.
- After 14 days: Your employer may ask you for a duration declaration, i.e. a declaration of how long your doctor expects your illness to last.
- No later than four weeks after your first sick day: Your employer will invite you to a sickness absence review meeting.
- Your employer must notify the municipality of your sickness absence within five weeks of your first sick day. The municipality will send an information form to your e-Boks, which you must complete in the digital solution My Sickness Absence within eight days. You must, i.a. state how long you expect the illness to last.
- The municipality will hold a follow-up interview no later than eight weeks from your first sick day. For the purpose of the follow-up, the municipality may request a medical certificate in which your doctor must assess your illness and options for returning to work, possible safeguarding requirements, treatment and the expected duration of the illness.
Your employer may ask you to document your illness during the process, just as your employer may summon you for an interview regarding your options at any time.
Do you have any questions?
We recommend that you involve your union representative or local union if you have any questions regarding the progress of your illness or if you need to conclude a written agreement with your employer regarding special consideration for safeguarding in your job.
Furthermore, you are also always welcome to contact our social workers who can help with anything from providing specific answers to assistance in relation to public authorities, appeals etc. They do not, however, take part in meetings with municipalities, but can provide help in preparing you for them.
You can also make an appointment for a personal interview where a lay representative may accompany you - e.g. a union representative or your spouse.
All inquiries are treated anonymously in relation to the employers.
You can contact our social workers by calling +45 32 96 46 00 or by mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions regarding the procedure for long-term illness
Your employer is obliged to summon you for a personal sickness absence review meeting (also known as a care interview) regarding when you can return to work and how you can be supported in this. The review meeting must be held within four weeks of your first day of absence. The meeting is held as a personal interview and should be attended by your union representative - the meeting may be held on neutral ground or by telephone if you are unable to meet at the workplace.
The meeting includes a discussion on the possibilities for shorter working hours, safeguarding requirements, physical aids, reorganisation of work tasks, options for rest and working from home. Please note that you are not obliged to accept major changes in your work tasks to a wider extent than the usual rules concerning changes in job content.
If you are feeling too ill to participate in the sickness absence review meeting, you should contact your doctor and ask for his or her assessment. You are not obliged to participate in the meeting if your doctor assesses that you are too ill to participate or that the meeting could be detrimental to your condition. In which case you must notify your employer to this effect in writing.
We recommend that you ask your employer to write a summary of the meeting, which may be approved by both you and your union representative. It is important to check whether the specific agreements have been noted, e.g. regarding how you can get support for returning to work.
You must comply with the employment requirements for the Sickness Benefits Act in order to be entitled to sickness benefit.
In an employment relationship, your employer will be able to apply for sickness benefit reimbursement when you have been absent owing to illness for 30 days and have been absent for at least four hours per week. The employer's right to reimbursement is derived from your right to sickness benefit. If your employment is terminated during your illness, the sickness benefit payment will be transferred to you.
As a general rule, you are entitled to sickness benefit for 22 weeks within a period of nine months. The municipality must re-evaluate your situation and decide whether it is possible to extend your sickness benefit period before the 22 weeks expire. This is an option if you fulfil one of the seven options for extension described in the Sickness Benefits Act.
- Read more about the rules concerning sickness benefit after 22 weeks
The follow-up meeting is held as a personal interview where you and your caseworker discuss your situation and what kind of help you need to get back to work. A concrete plan of action to help you get back to work will be established at the meeting.
The municipality must follow up continuously throughout the entire course of your illness and will generally talk to you every 4th week.
The purpose of the follow-up is to provide the municipality with an update on your health and assess the support you need in order to return to the job market as soon as possible. You are obliged to participate in the follow-up but the municipality must always take your situation and state of health into consideration.
If the municipality assesses that you are still unfit for work at the time of reassessment, but that you do not fulfil one of the rules for extension described in the Sickness Benefits Act, you will begin a job capacity assessment instead. You or your employer will receive a rehabilitation programme allowance during the job capacity assessment. The allowance is less than the amount paid for sickness benefit.
Participation in a job capacity assessment means that you must attend a meeting with the job centre's rehabilitation team. Together with your caseworker, you must complete a form for the rehabilitation team prior to the meeting. The meeting will consist of the rehabilitation team proposing an action plan for your future. This may include, e.g. that you should gradually resume your working hours in a company internship programme, receive mentoring support or help for, e.g. managing stress. A coordinative caseworker will be assigned to follow you throughout the process during the job capacity assessment.
If you are or expect to be absent owing to illness for more than eight weeks, you may ask your employer to collaborate on preparing a written retention action plan. The involvement of your doctor is not permitted and you may prepare the retention action plan at any time during the course of your illness - your employer may reject your request however.
The plan may include elements such as:
- Reduced hours that are gradually increased
- Other functions or work tasks, permanent or temporary
- Aids such as work breaks or other forms of consideration for safeguarding
- Consideration at personal/colleague level
If appropriate, you may prepare the plan in connection with a sickness absence review meeting.
Bring the retention action plan with you to the job centre
It is a good idea to bring the plan with you to your next follow-up meeting with the local job centre in order that the job centre can take the plan you have already made in collaboration with your manager as a starting point and support it. This may be done, e.g. by the job centre paying for physical aids or paying part of the salary to a mentor.
Your employer may require documentation related to your absence - your employer must pay for this documentation. In practice, it is generally the case that you pay your doctor and are reimbursed for the expense by your employer at a later date. This may include the following types of documentation:
1. Solemn declaration
If you are ill for more than three days, but less than 14 days, your employer may ask you for a solemn declaration as documentation for your illness, where you simply sign a document stating that you are absent due to illness.
2. Duration declaration
If you are ill for more than 14 days, your employer may ask you for a duration declaration, i.e. a declaration of how long your doctor expects your illness to last. The declaration may be issued by your own doctor or by a specialist chosen by you if your employer requires that a specialist issue the declaration. Your employer will often ask to receive the declaration within a given deadline that you must comply with.
If the doctor has a waiting list, you should contact more specialists and it is important to document that you have tried to make an appointment within the deadline. If you are still unwell after the expiry of the duration declaration, your employer will ask you for a new declaration, as you will not automatically be considered as recovered after the expiry of the declaration.
3. Declaration of work capacity
Your employer may also require a declaration of work capacity at any time, irrespective of whether your illness is short-term, repeated or long-term.
The purpose of a declaration of work capacity is to keep you in your job. The declaration is used in situations where, following a dialogue with you, the employer is in doubt about what considerations the company should take in order for you to return to work on a full or part-time basis to perform your usual, or modified, work tasks.
Your employer has no right to be informed about your diagnosis, but may receive information about functional limitations in relation to your work.
The first part of the declaration must be completed in collaboration with your employer. This may take place during a personal interview, which should be attended by your union representative. The meeting may take place on neutral ground or by telephone if you are unable to meet at the workplace. In the event that you feel totally incapable to participate in the meeting with your employer, you should always consult your doctor to get an assessment of whether you are too ill to participate.
Your doctor must complete the other part of the declaration. Based on the first part of the declaration (which you must take with you) and an interview with you, the doctor must consider the possibilities for you resuming work on a full or part-time basis according to the terms agreed. Your doctor has the option of suggesting adjustments to your work and assessing the duration of your illness. You must submit the completed declaration to your employer following your visit to the doctor. The doctor’s assessment is decisive in the event that your doctor does not agree with the agreements you have concluded with your employer.
4. Medical statement of incapacity for work
Your employer may, however, require a written notification of illness, a so-called medical statement of incapacity for work, which is prepared by your doctor. This may be relevant, e.g. if you are too ill to participate in a declaration of work capacity meeting with your employer.
Are you registered correctly?
The best way we can help is if we have the correct information about you. This is of importance to your professional, legal and economic rights. So please ensure that you always change your information if changes occur in your work life.
You can correct your information at Mit forbund.