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Sick leave

Sickness benefits

If you pay wages during sick leave, your employee’s municipality of residence can reimburse you. If you do not pay wages during sick leave, you may have to pay sickness benefits. As a self-employed person, you can receive sickness benefits from the municipality.

Wages during sick leave

As an employer, you may have to pay wages during your employee’s absence from work due to illness. For example, such may be in accordance with the Act on salaried employees, the employment contract, or a collective agreement.

Sickness benefits reimbursement

If your employee has been sick for more than 30 days and you continue to pay their wages, you can receive sickness benefit reimbursement from your employee’s municipality of residence. The reimbursement corresponds to the sickness benefits that your employee would have been entitled to from the municipality if you had not paid their wages. You must thus cover the difference yourself. The reimbursement is conditional on the employee fulfilling the conditions for sickness benefits from the municipality. For example, your employee must meet specific requirements on a connection to the labour market (employment).

Remember to report your employee’s absence

You must report your employee’s absence to the municipality within 5 weeks of the first day of absence in the digital solution NemRefusion on Virk.dk. If you fail to meet that deadline, you lose your right to reimbursement for the period prior to reporting the absence. In some cases, where there is a valid reason for you to miss the deadline, you can still receive reimbursement from the time before the deadline. A valid reason could e.g. if a server failure at Nemrefusion of a certain extent prevents you from meeting the deadline.

Sickness benefits during sick leave

If you do not pay full wages to your employee during sickness, you may have to pay sickness benefits to them for the first 30 calendar days (‘employer period’).

You must pay sickness benefits if you have employed your employee continuously for the past eight weeks prior to their absence. During that time, your employee must have worked for you for at least 74 hours (the employment requirement).

You must also pay sickness benefits if within the last eight weeks you have employed your employee on several different occasions and during that time they have worked for at least 74 hours. You must also employ your employee on the day they get sick in order for them to be entitled to sickness benefits.

The employee’s sickness benefits beyond 30 days of illness

If you have paid sickness benefits to your employee for the entire employer period and your employee is still unable to work due to illness, your employee must apply for sickness benefits from the municipality.

Remember to report your employee’s absence

In order for your employee to be able to apply for sickness benefits from the municipality, you must report your employee’s absence to the employee’s municipality of residence. If you have paid sickness benefits for the first 30 days, you must report the absence within one week after you have stopped paying sickness benefits.

Sickness benefit insurance for employers

If you are a small private employer, you can take out insurance (regulated by the sickness benefit act) that entitles you to reimbursement from the municipality, starting on your employee’s second day of absence. You must always pay for the first day of absence yourself.

Sign up for sickness benefit insurance scheme or make changes

Reporting an employee’s absence

As an employer, you must notify the municipality of your employee’s absence due to illness within certain deadlines:

  • If you have paid wages during their absence and the employee is ill for more than 30 days, you must report the absence to the municipality within 5 weeks of your employee’s first day of absence.

  • If you have paid sickness benefits for the first 30 days, you must report the absence within one week after you have stopped paying sickness benefits

  • If you do not pay wages or sickness benefits to your employee during sick leave, you must report the absence within two weeks of your employee´s first day of absence. You must report the absence of your employee in the digital solution NemRefusion on Virk.dk.

Report absence and apply for sickness benefit reimbursement in Nemrefusion. The digital solution Nemrefusion on Virk.dk is in Danish. NemRefusion (new window – in Danish)

This is what you need:

  • Private NemID or NemID with an employee signature (medarbejdersignatur)

  • To register as a user of NemRefusion

  • CPR-number on your employee

  • Your employee’s salary and employment conditions

Self-employed and sickness benefits

If you are self-employed, you may have the right to sickness benefit from the municipality after the first two weeks of absence.

  • To receive sickness benefit as a self-employed person, it is a requirement that:

  • You have undertaken self-employed activity to a substantial extent for at least 6 months in the last 12 months, including the last month prior to the absence;

  • You have been working in your own business for at least 18.5 hours.

If you have had your business for less than six months, your previously work as a salary-earner will be included in the six-month.

Sickness benefit insurance

As a self-employed person, you can take out two kinds of sickness insurance (regulated by the sickness benefit act). One where you can get sickness benefits from the first day of absence, and one where you can get it from the third day of absence. You can take out a sickness insurance policy from Udbetaling Danmark against an annual fee.

Sign up for sickness benefit insurance scheme or make changes

Reporting absence as self-employed

You must report your absence due to your own illness in the digital solution NemRefusion within the following deadlines in order to ensure your right to sickness benefit from the municipality:

  • If you are not insured, you must report your sickness absence no later than 3 weeks after your first sick day

  • If you are insured, you must report your sickness absence no later than one week after your first or third sick day

If you do not report your illness on time, you do not have the right to sickness benefit before you have registered your absence/illness. However, in some cases, where there is a valid reason for the late report, you may have the right to sickness benefit from the start. A valid reason could be that due to health reasons, e.g. hospital stay.

Report absence and apply for sickness benefit reimbursement in Nemrefusion. The digital solution Nemrefusion on Virk.dk is in Danish. NemRefusion (new window - in Danish)

This is what you need:

  • Private NemID or NemID with an employee signature (medarbejdersignatur)

  • To register as a user of NemRefusion

  • Your CPR-number

Skrevet af: The Danish Agency of Labour Market and Recruitment Opdateret 15.03.2021
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