Sick on vacation - you should know about vacation law

Expert explains about rights and obligations during vacation

The summer holidays are just around the corner and for many the main holiday season of the year begins. Vacation is also an important health factor that increases quality of life and can help reduce stress. But what happens if you get sick on vacation? "Bad luck", many think. But sickness takes precedence over vacation law. If you get sick on vacation and this has been proven by a doctor, you can claim the missed relaxation time again. An expert in labor law clarifies.

The labor lawyer Prof. Dr. Michael Fuhlrott from the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences explains the rights as an employee. "Of course, an illness reduces the joy of vacationing," explains the expert in a press release from the university. Anyone who gets sick or injured on vacation can claim the vacation again. However, the employee had to inform the employer of his illness immediately, otherwise he would violate his duty to report and risk a warning.

Vacation serves relaxation

The stress that workers are exposed to at work can have harmful consequences. Vacation is an important measure to eliminate stress in the job. Fuhlrott knows that the employer does not have to give the holiday location and address. The cell phone can also be switched off without hesitation. "Holidays are used for recreation, so that the employee literally has a right to switch off," says the labor lawyer. This is also advisable, because those who are constantly available for work on vacation do not recover.

Granted leave can only be canceled in rare emergencies

"Once you have been granted leave, you cannot take it back," reports Fuhlrott. There are rare exceptional cases with companies that otherwise could not be maintained. A company could only ask for a return on a voluntary basis and would have to pay for all the resulting costs.

Do parents with children have priority when vacationing?

"There is no statutory right to vacation for parents of school-age children during school holidays," explains the professor. In exceptional cases, a temporary vacation ban could even be imposed for a specific project. The manager can also set a minimum staffing of the company or department. However, in most companies there is a family-friendly regulation on this topic.

Can leave be taken during the trial period?

"In a new job, you are not entitled to vacation," reports the expert. In principle, you also get at least two days of vacation entitlement per month during the trial period, but you should only take it after the approval of your supervisor. You only get full vacation entitlement after six months. Fuhlrott recommends that vacations that have already been planned be addressed during an interview.

The boss may request annual planning

"The employer may require that employees think about their vacation plans at the beginning of the year and plan their annual vacation early," said Fuhlrott. The employer therefore has a right to planning security. The employer does not have to decide immediately about a vacation application. He could allow himself a period of time to organize coordination with other workers for representation.

Do company holidays and vacation closures have a legal basis?

According to Fuhlrott, companies can order plant closings with the obligation for two weeks of vacation. "For the planning of the employees, however, this must be announced in good time," says the labor lawyer. In addition, there must be an appropriate number of vacation days that the employee can freely dispose of. Furthermore, it is permissible to impose restrictions on vacation for certain times. As examples, Fuhlrott names a logistics company that issues a holiday ban for the pre-Christmas period or a school where caretakers can only apply for holidays during the school holidays.

Delayed return from vacation without fault

"If it is foreseeable in advance that the return flight or the ferry will fail and that a timely return cannot be guaranteed, he must take action," reports Fuhlrott. If necessary, the employee would have to rebook his flights beforehand in order to be able to reappear in good time, or he would have to ask for an extended vacation. Even in the event of force majeure such as a volcanic eruption, as a result of which all flights are canceled, the expert says: "If you do not appear in the office in time because of canceled flights, the employee must not only inform his boss immediately, but for this time also submit paid or unpaid leave. "(vb)

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