Background

Until 1 January 2008, an employer was entitled to require medical certificates from employees absent due to sickness as of the seventh day in a sick period (unless agreed otherwise in a collective agreement). Only the Social Security Office had, provided that objective grounds applied (e.g. repeated short-time absence), the possibility (and the obligation) to require a medical certificate from an employee prior to the seventh day in a sick period or as of the first day in every future sick period. A request regarding future sick periods could, however, not cover a longer period that one year.

New legislation

The new legislation authorises the employer to require medical certificates from its employees to the same extent as the Social Security Office. Hence, if objective grounds apply, the employer is entitled to require a medical certificate prior to the seventh day in a sick period or as of the first day in every future sick period.

Effect on employers

The employer’s possibility to require a medical certificate from an employee as of the first day in a sick period will be an effective tool to prevent the misuse of repeated short-time absence.