Further easing the burden on parents

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FAQs on child sick pay Further easing the burden on parents

The entitlement to child sick pay is to be further extended for 2021. In this way, the German government is supporting parents who have to take care of their children at home as a result of the pandemic. The entitlement applies not only if a child is sick, but also if nurseries and schools are closed, or if only limited services are available. That has now been decided by the Cabinet.

3 Min. Lesedauer

A mother working at a laptop with her two sons

The German government is helping parents cope with the special challenges posed by the pandemic.

Foto: Getty Images/Westend61

Child sick pay is intended to help offset the loss of income suffered by working parents who have to take care of a sick child at home and thus cannot work. The Cabinet has now launched action to extend this benefit. The entitlement to the extended pandemic-related child sick pay applies not only when a child is sick, but also when parents are required to look after their child at home for other reasons. This could be because the school, nursery or facility for people with disabilities is closed as a result of the pandemic, because there is no in-person teaching or care, or because individual school classes or nursery or daycare groups are in quarantine.

Who is entitled?

The entitlement covers working parents with statutory health insurance, who are entitled to sick pay themselves and whose child is under the age of 12. If the child has a disability, the entitlement also applies above the age of 12. The precondition is also that there is nobody else in the household who can look after the child. Parents with private health insurance and parents entitled to support can apply for compensation under Article 56 (1a) of the Infection Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz, IfSG).

How many days of child sick pay is a family entitled to?

For 2021 the entitlement to child sick pay is to rise from 20 days per parent per child to 30 days, i.e. a total of 60 days per child for both parents. Single parents too will see their entitlement doubled to 60 days per child.

Can the full entitlement be used to cover school/nursery closures?

Yes. The 30 or 60 days can be used either for taking care of a sick child or for taking care of a child at home when the school or nursery is closed, in-person teaching is not compulsory or access is limited.

If the child is sick, a medical certificate must be provided to the health insurance scheme as evidence that a parent needed to stay home and take care of the sick child. For this, the certificate "Ärztliche Bescheinigung für den Bezug von Krankengeld bei Erkrankung eines Kindes" (medical certificate for sick pay in the case of a sick child) must be filled in. If a child has to be looked after at home because a school or nursery is closed, a confirmation of closure from the school or nursery will suffice.

Does the school or nursery have to be completely closed?

No, parents are entitled to the benefit if in-person teaching at school is no longer mandatory, if access to the nursery is limited or if the relevant class may not attend school or the relevant nursery group may not attend nursery.

Does the entitlement apply even if parents could work from home as well as looking after the child?

Yes. The entitlement applies irrespective of whether the parent can work from home or not.

How high is the child sick pay?

As has been the case to date, the child sick pay is equivalent to up to 90 per cent of the net pay lost because the parent cannot work.

How and where can parents apply for child sick pay?

Parents should apply to their health insurance scheme for child sick pay and provide suitable evidence that the school/nursery is closed or that the child is not attending. The health insurance scheme may require a certificate from the facility or school.

Are parents also entitled to income support under Article 56 of the Infection Protection Act?

No. If one parent takes child sick pay, neither parent is entitled to support under Article 56 of the Infection Protection Act for this period.

Here is an overview of the support the German government offers families during the pandemic.