Return to work during sick leave


The main purpose of a sick leave for an employee is to justify being absent from work when he is sick or unable to perform his / her professional duties. An employee who is on sick leave must use it in accordance with its intended purpose, i.e. for rest and regeneration, in order to return to full strength and work as quickly as possible. But what if an employee decides to return to work during sick leave, claiming that he has already recovered? Can the employer allow him to return to work? Check it out!

Return to work during sick leave

An employee who is incapable of work must obtain a medical certificate from a doctor confirming the leave from work. The ZUS ZLA form (currently issued in electronic form) is used for this, which is the temporary incapacity to do so. However, in some cases, the worker may recover faster than indicated on the medical certificate.

An employee who, in accordance with a doctor's decision about temporary incapacity for work, is on sick leave, may return to work before the expiry of this period, provided that the incapacity for work due to illness does not exceed 30 days. In the event of a longer period, the employee's consent to return to work from an occupational medicine doctor is required. Article 229 § 2 of the Labor Code stipulates that an employee is subject to periodic medical examinations, and in the event of inability to work for more than 30 days due to illness, he / she is also subject to medical examinations in order to determine the ability to perform work in the current position.

A medical certificate is issued by the attending physician for the period in which the insured should refrain from work due to his or her health condition, but no longer than until the date on which it is necessary to re-examine the insured's health condition.

Returning to work during sick leave and sick pay or benefits

An employee who decides to return to work during sick leave must take into account that the remuneration for the time of his absence will be proportional to the number of days during which he was absent from work.

It does not matter whether the employee was entitled to sick pay (up to 33 days of illness) or to sickness benefit (over 33 days of sickness) during the period of illness.

Return to work for your own employer

Pursuant to Art. 17 sec. 1 of the Benefit Act, an insured employee who performs gainful employment during the period of the declared incapacity for work or uses the leave in a manner inconsistent with the purpose of the leave, loses the right to sickness benefit for the entire period of the leave. In practice, however, ZUS treats the employee's return to work with his employer during the period of the leave as a withdrawal of the application for sickness benefit. Thus, the amount of the allowance paid includes only the time of the exemption used.

Working on sick leave for another employer

It is different if the employee took up work for another employer during the period of temporary inability to work - then he completely loses the right to sickness benefit, even for the period used correctly.