Rules on sickness and industrial injury

Learn about your rights in connection with sickness and industrial injury.

​When you fall ill, you must report it to your employer, who may also demand documentation for your illness. You and your employer may make an agreement to enable you to maintain your connection with your workplace. During your absence you are subject to a number of rights and obligations. All employees in the financial sector who are covered by a collective agreement are also covered by healthcare insurance.

Right to absence in case of illness

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Do I have an obligation to report sick?

You must inform your employer immediately that you are ill.

Many companies have internal rules as to when, how and who you must notify about illness and absence from work. Consequently, you should check your contract or the staff manual for special rules for reporting sick. The most common rule is that you should inform your employer of your absence already at the start of working hours and not later than two hours after your usual starting time.

Please note that your employer may consider your absence as a fundamental breach of contract on your part if you do not report sick correctly. In the last resort, it may cause you to be summarily dismissed.

 

After reporting sick

Once you have informed your employer about your sickness absence, you are not obliged to regularly report that you continue to be ill. If you can say anything about when you can return to work, it is, however, common to notify your employer to this effect.

What do I do in case of illness in connection with holidays?

Illness is a so-called holiday obstacle. There is a difference between whether you fall ill before the start of the holiday or during your holiday.

 

Reporting sick – in case of illness arising before the holiday

If you are ill before the start of the holiday (i.e. before the start of working hours on the first day of holiday), you are not obliged to start the holiday. In that case, you must inform your employer as quickly as possible about the illness that prevents you from taking the planned holiday. You can take the holiday at a later time. Please note that most companies have rules as to how, to whom and when employees must report sick. Such rules also apply in this case.

 

Reporting fit for duty – in case of illness arising before the holiday

When your illness is over, you must remember to report fit for duty and inform your employer whether you want to take the remaining holiday or whether you want to resume work. You may, for example, be ill in the first week of a three week main holiday.

When you report back to work, you must notify your employer whether you want to take holiday leave in the remaining two weeks of holiday, or whether you want to postpone the entire holiday and instead go back to work. If you choose to take the two weeks' holiday, this is the main holiday and you are entitled to another week's main holiday, which, however, you cannot require should be taken in continuation of the preceding two weeks' holiday. In this case, the usual rules for the timing of holidays apply.

 

Illness arising during the holiday

If you fall ill while you are on holiday, you may be entitled to replacement holiday.

You must notify your employer about the illness on the first sick day in the same manner as if you were not on holiday. The right to replacement holiday arises at the earliest as from the time when you have notified your employer that you are ill during the holiday. Unless other rules apply for this at your workplace, you must provide documentation of the illness to your employer, which means that you must obtain and pay for a medical certificate. This applies in case of holiday in Denmark as well as abroad.

You must have been sick for five days before you are entitled to replacement holiday. Generally, you must take the replacement holiday later in the same holiday year, i.e. before 1 May. If this is not possible due to illness, you can take the replacement holiday in the following holiday year.

Can I be dismissed because of illness?

Although you are entitled to be absent from work due to illness, your employer can dismiss you. You can be given notice of termination while you are on sick leave, but also after a period of sick leave.

As a salaried employee, you are, however, protected by the provisions of the Salaried Employees Act, which means that if you have been employed for at least one year, your dismissal must be reasonably justified by either your own conduct or the company's circumstances.

 

If you consider resigning

We recommend that you do not resign due to illness. If you consider resigning after all, you should contact us, the union branch or your shop steward before you take any steps in relation to your employer.

 

The 120-day rule

The 120-day rule has been negotiated out of the collective agreement for both financial employees and insurance agents.

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Documentation and follow-up on long-term illness

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Can my employer demand documentation for absence due to illness?

Your employer can demand various forms of certificates as documentation for your absence. You may contact your shop steward if you need advice.

Your employer must pay for the certificate that he or she asks to have issued. In practice, the procedure is often that you pay your doctor and are later reimbursed for the expense by your employer.

 

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.

 

Duration declaration

Under the Salaried Employees Act, your employer may demand a duration declaration if your absence due to illness lasts for more than 14 days. A duration declaration is a statement in which a doctor makes an assessment of the duration of your illness.

The declaration may be issued by your own medical practitioner or by a specialist chosen by you if your employer demands that the declaration should be issued by a specialist doctor. Often, the employer will ask to receive the declaration within a certain time-limit. It is important that you observe such time-limit. If the doctor has a waiting list, you should contact more specialists to get an appointment as quickly as possible. Remember that it is important that you can prove that you have tried to get an appointment within the time-limit.

If, after the expiry of the duration declaration, you have still not recovered, your employer must ask you for a new declaration as you are not automatically considered to have recovered after the expiry of the declaration.

 

Fitness for work certificate

Your employer may also demand a fitness for work certificate. He or she may demand a fitness for work certificate at any time during your illness, irrespective of whether your illness is short-term, repeated or long-term.

The purpose of a fitness for work certificate is to keep you in your job. The certificate is used in the situations where, after a dialogue with you, the employer is uncertain about the measures that the company should take in order for you to return to work on a full-time or part-time basis and either with your usual duties or with alternative duties.

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 certificate is filled in jointly by you and your employer. This may take place during a personal interview. We recommend that you are accompanied by your shop steward at the meeting. If you are unable to appear at the workplace, the meeting may be held on neutral ground or by telephone. If you feel completely unable 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.

The other part of the certificate is subsequently filled in by your doctor. Based on the first part of the certificate (which you bring along) and an interview with you, the doctor must consider the possibilities of you resuming work full-time or part-time on the agreed terms. Your doctor has the option of suggesting adaptation of the work and assessing the duration of your illness. After the visit to your doctor, you must send the completed certificate to your employer. If your doctor does not agree with the agreements you have made with your employer, the doctor's opinion is decisive.

 

Medical statement of incapacity

With the arrival of the fitness for work certificate, the "old certificate of health" is no longer in use. However, your employer may demand a written sick note, a so-called medical statement of incapacity, which your doctor issues.

A medical statement of incapacity is relevant if, for instance, you are ill on the first day of holiday, during a notice period, in a dismissal situation, or if you have been too ill to participate in a fitness for work meeting with your employer.

Am I entitled to a sickness absence review meeting?

Your employer is obliged to convene you for a personal sickness absence review meeting about when you can return to work and how you can best be helped back.

The review meeting must be held within four weeks of your first day of absence. The meeting is held as a personal interview. We recommend that you are accompanied by your shop steward. If you are unable to appear at the workplace, the meeting may be held on neutral ground or by telephone.

During the meeting, possibilities for changing your working hours, special needs, physical aids, reorganisation of duties, rest possibilities/breaks, a section 56-agreement or home work are discussed.

Please note that you are not obliged to tolerate changes in your duties to a wider extent than the usual rules on changes in job content.


Too sick for the meeting

If you feel too sick to participate in the sickness absence review meeting, you should contact your doctor and get your doctor's assessment. If your doctor assesses that you are too sick to participate, or that the meeting may deteriorate your condition, you are not obliged to participate in the meeting.

According to the Danish Health Information Act, your employer has no right to be informed about your diagnosis. Consequently, you are only obliged to state the functional limitations you have in relation to your duties.

 

Get minutes of the meeting

We recommend that you ask your employer to prepare minutes of the meeting, which you and your shop steward receive for review and approval. Remember to ensure that the issues of a return to work plan, relocation possibilities, special terms and involvement of the social chapter of the collective agreement are addressed, and that the specific agreements made are noted.

Will the local authority job centre follow up on my illness?

If you are ill for more than 30 days, the local authority job centre will follow up on your situation and assess your specific needs for action.

The job centre will do its first follow-up before the end of the eighth sick week counted from the first sick day. During a period of sickness, you will regularly be convened to several follow-up meetings with the job centre.

The follow-up must take the form of a personal interview, unless the illness prevents it. If your illness prevents you from participating in personal interviews in the job centre, the follow-up may be by telephone, digitally or by letter as agreed with the job centre.

If there is any doubt as to whether you can participate in a personal interview, the job centre must contact your own doctor or the hospital doctor. The doctor's instructions must be followed, unless there are very special reasons not to.

Before the first follow-up meeting, you will receive an information sheet, which you are obliged to complete and return within eight days.

Can the follow-up to my illness take place at an earlier date?

Both you and your employer can ask for earlier follow-up if you expect that your sick leave will last for more than eight weeks.

You may refuse an earlier follow-up.

If early action is initiated, the local authority will convene you to a meeting within two weeks of the request. The local authority will also ask you to visit your own doctor before the meeting.

At the meeting, the local authority can offer you relevant support and specific tools to return to the labour market.

Can I ask for a retention action plan to be prepared?

If you are or expect to be on sick leave for more than eight weeks, you as an employee may ask your employer that you jointly prepare a written retention action plan.

You can prepare the retention action plan at any time during your illness. However, your employer can reject your request.

The plan may include elements such as:

  • Reduced hours that are gradually increased
  • Other functions or duties, permanently or temporarily
  • Aids such as changed office equipment, lifting equipment or the like, work breaks and other special terms.
  • Consideration at personal/colleague level.

You may possibly prepare the plan in connection with a sickness absence review meeting.


Bring the retention action plan with you to the job centre

In contrast to fitness for work certificates, a retention action plan does not require your doctor's participation.

However, it is a good idea to bring the plan with you to your next follow-up meeting with the local job centre. The purpose is that the job centre's follow-up plan can be based on and support your and your employer's agreement in the retention action plan, for example by the job centre paying for physical aids or for part of the pay to a mentor.

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Pay and insurance during illness

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Am I entitled to pay during my illness?

You are entitled to pay during illness. The calculation of the amount of pay depends on whether you are a salaried employee or an insurance agent.

As a salaried employee, you are entitled to full pay during illness, as illness is so-called lawful absence. Full pay is the pay that you usually receive. Accordingly, fixed supplements are also included in your pay. However, you will not be paid for agreed overtime work.

As an insurance agent, you are entitled to pay during illness, but because of the method of remuneration, special rules apply as to how your employer calculates pay during illness, and these rules are stated in your framework agreement.

 

This is how pay is calculated

If you are an insurance agent, the basis for the calculation is that you must receive your usual fixed pay plus a sick pay compensation for your variable pay.

To calculate the variable pay, your employer makes an average calculation based on your gross income for the past 12 months, which comes from acquisition commission of your own underwriting. Repayment of premium must be deducted from the above amount.

If you have not been employed for 12 months, your employer will make the calculation from the date of your appointment.

 

Am I entitled to pay during visits to the doctor or my treatment?

You are entitled to be absent with pay for ordinary visits to the doctor, outpatient hospital treatment, treatment by a specialist doctor or dentist or prescribed treatment by, for instance, a physiotherapist or chiropractor. The visit must, however, be a necessary part of your recovery, including preliminary examinations to ascertain whether you are actually ill.

Insofar as possible, treatment must be provided outside working hours. In those cases where it is not possible to place treatment outside working hours, you are entitled to absence, but you have an obligation to try to schedule your absence at a time when it is of least inconvenience to your employer, which means at the beginning or end of clinic opening hours.

You should be aware that you must be able to substantiate that it is necessary for you to seek treatment if your employer asks you to.

Will I receive pay during leave to care for a close relative or friend?

Both the standard collective agreement and the collective agreement for insurance agents entitle you to paid leave from the company if you want to care for a close relative or friend who is seriously ill or dying. The above applies if you:

  • are engaged by the local authority pursuant to section 118 of the Social Services Act to care for a close relative or friend with substantial and permanently impaired physical or mental function or who suffers from serious, chronic or long-term illness, or
  • are granted compensation for any loss of earnings (carer's allowance) for taking care of a close relative or friend who wishes to die in his/her own home, pursuant to section 119 of the Social Services Act.

In both situations, your leave period is included in your length of service. You accrue holiday entitlement and pay pension contributions on the basis of your usual salary.

Am I covered by a healthcare insurance through my employer?

All employees in the financial sector who are covered by a collective agreement are also covered by a healthcare insurance.

The purpose of the insurance is to secure financial employees access to quick treatment and advice. The cover of the insurance depends on the scheme chosen by your company. In most cases, you are ensured treatment within a maximum of two weeks.

Below you find examples of treatments that are covered by the insurance, but this is not necessarily what your insurance covers.

  • Examination, surgery and treatment of, for example, meniscal injuries, mouse injuries, hip replacement operations and gallstone operations.
  • Treatment of mental illnesses, such as psychologist and trauma counselling.
  • Treatment by a physiotherapist or chiropractor.

Leave to care for a seriously ill close relative or friend

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Can I take leave to care for a close relative or friend who suffers from a serious illness?

You can take leave from work to care for a close relative who suffers from a serious illness for a period of up to six months. The care period may be extended for an additional three months where warranted by special circumstances. The care period may be divided into several periods of down to one month's duration, and several joint carers can share the care of the patient.

Conditions:

  • that the close relative or friend lives in his or her own home
  • that the alternative to care in the home is full-time residential accommodation away from the home, or the amount of care needed corresponds to a full-time job
  • that the parties agree on establishing the care arrangement
  • that there are no strong indications against you caring for the close relative or friend

If the conditions are satisfied, you will be employed by the local authority in which your close relative or friend lives.

The local authority prepares an employment contract for the care arrangement and pays your salary. The pay from the local authority is a fixed, monthly amount. According to the collective agreement, your employer will pay the difference up to your usual salary.

(Section 118 of the Social Services Act).

Can I take leave to care for a terminally ill close relative or friend?

A terminally ill person has the option of spending his or her last time in the home and be cared for by a close relative or friend. If you want to care for a close relative or friend who wishes to die in his or her own home, you may be granted constant care allowance by the local authority in which the care is provided. Several joint carers may share the constant care allowance. Under the collective agreement, you receive full salary during your leave to care for a terminally ill relative or friend, and your employer is entitled to a refund from the local authority for the constant care allowance you would otherwise receive.

It is a condition that the hospital has stopped curative treatment, that care is needed, and that you and your dying relative or friend have entered into a voluntary agreement on establishing the care arrangement.

Both family members and friends can apply for leave to care for a seriously ill person. The decisive factor is that you have a personal relationship with the close relative or friend. On the death of the person requiring care, you keep the right to constant care allowance for up to 14 days after the death of the patient.

(Section 119 of the Social Services Act).

Perhaps you are covered by a local agreement on leave

Under the new standard collective agreement of 1 April 2012, employees wishing to care for a close relative or friend who is disabled, critically, severely or terminally ill must be given the option of taking leave from work.

The detailed terms governing such leave can be agreed locally between the company and the employee concerned. Where no agreement has been concluded or agreement cannot be reached on the terms, the provisions of the above leave schemes for care of a close relative or friend apply.

Rules applying to industrial injuries

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What is an industrial injury?

There are two types of industrial injuries to which the Danish Workers' Compensation Act applies:

  • Accidents at work: An accident at work is an injury that follows an incident or exposure that occurred suddenly or within five days, e.g. robbery, violence and threats.
  • Occupational diseases: Occupational diseases are diseases that occur due to long-term exposure. Labour Market Insurance has prepared a list of recognised diseases. In very special cases, the National Board of Industrial Injuries recognises other diseases. You can talk with your doctor about being referred to an occupational medicine clinic to get an assessment of the connection between your disease and your work.

Who must report the industrial injury?

The following persons may report your industrial injury:

  • You: Everybody is entitled to report injuries. Accordingly, you are also entitled to report the injury yourself. It is a good idea to ensure that your injury is reported.
  • Your employer: Your employer is obliged to report the injury to his or her insurance company if you have had an accident at work. Remember to get a copy of the report and follow up on whether the insurance company has sent a letter of acknowledgement.
  • Your doctor or dentist: Your doctor or dentist is obliged to report the injury to Labour Market Insurance and the Danish Working Environment Authority if he/she believes that you have contracted a disease because of your work.

When should the industrial injury be reported?

The deadline for when an industrial injury must be reported depends on whether it is an accident at work or an occupational disease:

  • Accidents at work: must be reported immediately or within nine days of the injury.
  • Occupational diseases: must be reported when it must be assumed that the disease is caused by your work.

It is important that you, your employer, doctor or dentist report your injury within one year. Otherwise, you may risk missing out on compensation. If the injury is reported more than one year after the injury, the case may be dismissed. In special cases, however, the one-year deadline may be disregarded.

How do I report an industrial injury?

Your employer or doctor/dentist must report the injury via the electronic reporting system, which is the reporting system of Labour Market Insurance and the Working Environment Authority.

Remember to get a copy of the report.

Read more on Labour Market Insurance's website

 

Has your industrial injury been correctly reported?

If you have not received a letter of acknowledgement approximately one month after having reported the industrial injury, then check up on the report. You may risk that your claim is rejected and to miss out on compensation if the insurance company or Labour Market Insurance has not received the report within one year.

The industrial injury has not been correctly reported if it is only registered in your personal file.

You can check whether your industrial injury has been correctly reported by contacting the insurance company or Labour Market Insurance.

 

Checklist for reporting an accident at work

  • Remember to file a claim under your own, individual insurance policies, your company's accident insurance and the Danish Act on Compensation from the State to Victims of Crimes. The police are obliged to guide you about the right to compensation. The police will give you the application form, and you must return it to the police in the police district in which the crime was committed. The claim will be statute-barred after two years.
  • Have the doctor, emergency room, physiotherapist, psychologist or other treatment providers note the cause of the injury.
  • Please note that the emergency room does not report accidents at work.
  • If you start treatment, for instance by a physiotherapist, then ask the insurance company to assure that they will pay.
  • Make a description of the course of events.
  • Save receipts for any treatment and medicine, and write down the names of your treatment providers and the medicine you take.

 

Checklist for reporting an occupational disease

  • Contact your doctor with symptoms and sick note.
  • Make your doctor, physiotherapist and any other treatment providers note the nature and possible cause of the disease.
  • Get a copy of the report, so that you know that your doctor files a report if there is suspicion of a connection between the disease and your work.
  • Discuss with your doctor whether you should be referred to an occupational medicine clinic.
  • Get a copy of the medical records from the occupational medicine clinic.
  • Inform your workplace that the doctor has reported it to the National Board of Industrial Injuries.
  • Talk with your employer and health and safety representative as to whether your workplace and/or your duties can be organised differently so that you do not get injuries.

Who reviews my industrial injury case?

Labour Market Insurance reviews your case.

If you have after-effects of the industrial injury, you can contact your employer's insurance company and ask them to forward your case to Labour Market Insurance, so that they can review it.

The insurance company may also ask Labour Market Insurance to review your case if you are entitled to compensation in addition to the payment of your medical treatment expenses.

Your file number in Labour Market Insurance always includes your civil registration number.

 

Where can I find information about the industrial injury?

You can find information at the website of Labour Market Insurance. If you have NemID or Digital Signature, you can follow your case on the internet.

Will my employer know that I have reported the industrial injury?

It is unavoidable that your employer will know about the case.

Your employer is not a party to the case, but he has the option of complaining if the case has been admitted or rejected. If your employer complains, he will become a party to the complaint.

Your employer is entitled to see information relating to the workplace, but he does not have access to personal data about you.

Can I have my industrial injury case reopened later?

Yes, you can have your case reopened within five years of the first decision if your work or health situation significantly changes.

How much can I receive in compensation?

If your claim is allowed, the following indemnities may be granted:

  • Payment of expenses for medical treatment, rehabilitation, aids, etc.: When Labour Market Insurance/the insurance company estimates that treatment, etc. is necessary, the expenses during the case and any future expenses will be paid for you. It is a good idea to ask the insurance company if they pay your expenses before you start treatment or buy an aid.
  • Compensation for permanent injury: You can receive compensation for the daily nuisances and inconveniences caused by the injury. The amount depends on your occupational opportunities and earnings. Labour Market Insurance determines your degree of permanent injury on the basis of a guiding permanent injury rating list. If your degree of permanent injury is less than 5%, no compensation will be paid to you.
  • Compensation for loss of earning capacity: Assessed on the basis of your occupational opportunities before and after the injury and granted only if your injury has resulted in a loss of earning capacity of at least 15%. This means that you cannot get compensation if you have resumed your old job or another job with the same pay after the injury.

 

Specifically in connection with robbery, violence and threats

If you have been the victim of robbery, violence, threats or the like, the company must ensure that you are offered treatment by a psychologist on the same day or within 24 hours.

Up to 12 months after the incident, you are entitled to psychological counselling or other relevant treatment, e.g. physiotherapy. The company pays your paid absence and the treatment expenses. Following a specific medical or psychological assessment, the period may be extended.

You are entitled to additional compensation under the collective agreement if your permanent injury rate is fixed at 5% or more because of the after-effects of a robbery, assault or the like. You must inform your company about the permanent injury decision to receive the additional compensation. 

Compensation to surviving relatives
As a surviving relative, you can receive compensation.
 

Can I get compensation for pain and suffering?

No, you cannot get compensation for pain and suffering under the Workers' Compensation Act. Nor can you get compensation for objects or clothes that were damaged in the accident.

Can I get compensation from elsewhere?

It is important that you check your own insurance and pension schemes to find out whether they provide cover in the given situation.

Check also if your workplace has insurance policies that cover you.