Every employee have the right to take the days off during an illness or injury provided that temporary disability to work is documented by a medical report.
Employer cannot ask or force you to work during this period, and your being ill doesn’t give employer a valid reason for termination of employment contract. However, there is a limit to take days off because of illness even it is based on medical report. Employer may terminate a long-term sick employee’s contract by paying his/her severance pay.
Arrangements in Labor Law
Employer’s right of breaking the employment contract for reason of health is arranged in Article 25-I/b of Labor Law 4857.
If the illness or injury reports exceed the notice period more than 6 weeks, the employer will be entitled to terminate the contract without notice, but by paying the severance pay.
As the notice periods are related to employee’s length of service (set forth in article 17), an employee’s maximum sick leave cannot exceed the following durations, for employee whose seniority is;
- less than 6 weeks, 8 weeks (2+6),
- between 6 weeks and 1,5 years (inc), 10 weeks (4+6),
- between 1,5 years and 3 years, 12 weeks (6+6),
What about if the reports are taken at intervals?
Although there is no explicit provision, in our opinion if the durations of employee’s sickness reports taken in different times in a year exceed the above periods he/she can be dismissed by the employer in line with the related article.
“Article 25-I/b of Labor Law 4857
b) If the Health Committee has determined that the suffering is incurable and incompatible with the performance of the employee’s duties. In cases of illness or accident which are not attributable to the employee’s fault and which are due to reasons outside those set forth in (a) above and in cases of pregnancy or confinement, the employer is entitled to terminate the contract if recovery from the illness or injury continues for more than six weeks beyond the notice periods set forth in article 17. In cases of pregnancy or confinement, the period mentioned above shall begin at the end of the period stipulated in Article 74. No wages are to be paid for the period during which the employee fails to report to work due to the suspension of his (her) contract.”
ARTICLE 17. – Before terminating a continual employment contract made for an indefinite period, a notice to the other party must be served by the terminating party.
The contract shall then terminate:
a) in the case of an employee whose employment has lasted less than six months, at the end of the second week following the serving of notice to the other party;
b) in the case of an employee whose employment has lasted for six months or more but for less than one-and-a-half years, at the end of the fourth week following the serving of notice to the other party;
c) in the case of an employee whose employment has lasted for one-and-a-half years or more but for less than three years, at the end of the sixth week following the serving of notice to the other party;
d) in the case of an employee whose employment has lasted for more than three years, at the end of the eighth week following the serving of notice to the other party.
These are minimum periods and may be increased by contracts between the parties.”
Which doctor can give sickness reports and how long?
- Workplace doctor: maximum two days,
- Family physician: maximum 20 days (firstly 10 days + 10 days),
- Single physician report: maximum 40 days (firstly 10 days +10 days+ ..,
- Medical board report: up to 6 months; in case of life threatening situation this period can be extended.