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Sick whilst on holiday: what about these days’ holiday?

18 March 2024 Employers

Getting sick during the holidays; it happens to all of us. But what about these days’ holiday? Are they forfeited or can they be recovered? Good news for your employees, as they won't necessarily lose these days’ holiday. However, there are some conditions for securing these days. Here’s a list of said conditions.

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Sick note whilst on holiday

Is your employee incapacitated for work due to illness or an accident whilst on holiday?

From 2024, these sick days are no longer forfeited and may be converted back into days’ holiday. How exactly does this work? Your employee needs to do 3 things right away:

  • Immediately notify you as his/her employer of his/her illness/accident;
  • Provide you with a valid sick note;
  • Let you know where he/she is (temporarily) staying.

There is no distinction between getting sick at home or getting sick abroad: your employee will  need to find a doctor who is willing to issue a sick note if he/she wants to recover these sick days.

What information should a sick note definitely include?

  • The sick note must be written in a language you can understand as an employer;
  • The notice must include the doctor's usual mandatory specifications: the probable duration of the period of incapacity for work and whether or not the employee is allowed to leave the house/the place where he/she is staying.

Read more about what information a sick note should include.

Entitlement to salary during sickness period?

For sick days too, in principle employees are entitled to the continued payment of their salary for sick days during the statutory holidays, provided they are still in the guaranteed pay period. Where they fall outside of the guaranteed pay period, in principle they will be paid benefits by the mutual health benefit society. The latter is the case anyway for sick days that coincide with a collective statutory holiday, provided the sick period already started before that collective statutory holiday.

What about non-statutory supplementary days’ holiday?

In addition to the statutory holidays, numerous employees enjoy supplementary days’ holiday, 'non-statutory supplementary holidaysThe above rules that apply upon the concurrence of statutory holidays and sickness do not necessarily apply to the concurrence of non-statutory holidays and sickness. The thing is there are simply no legal rules around this. In the case of non-statutory supplementary holidays imposed by the sector, the sector may potentially go by priority rules. In other cases, the employer usually needs to work up his own priority arrangements.

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