Unpaid leave: What applies to insurance? – Career

– Unpaid leave is the period during which employees enjoy unpaid leave from work. But can anyone take unpaid leave, and what do you need to know about it?

Anyone looking to continue their education, pursue a degree, or care for a sick family member often hits a bottleneck when it comes to annual leave. Because vacation days disappear faster than you’d like. Annual leave is not enough in the first place. Even namelyYoThe solution to the problem is obvious: leave without pay. But how long can unpaid leave last? What about insurance coverage and who is really entitled to unpaid leave? All important answers can be found here at a glance.

What are unpaid leaves and who is entitled to them?

Unpaid leave is considered defined period of time during which the employer releases the employee from work. During this period, the employee does not provide the service due under the employment contract. Consequently, during the duration of the unpaid leave no salary the so-called main performance obligations (work and remuneration) are paid and suspended. The continuation of the payment of wages in case of illness and surcharges on Sundays and holidays are also not applied.

Despite the unpaid leave, the so-called secondary obligations remain in force. These include the duty of loyalty, the non-compete clause, and the duty of care. In addition, there is also a possible protection against dismissal.

Unpaid leave: What problems can arise?

The applicant is granted a license for the duration of the license no salary and you have to take care of yourself. Who is granted an unpaid leave of several months or a whole year he also gives up his paid vacation. The employee must Pay social security yourself if you take unpaid leave of more than four weeks and also in the Pension insurance can have drawbackssince the contributions paid depend on the respective remuneration.

Does the employer have to agree?

No, there is no general right to unpaid leave in Germany. Employers may, for example, for operational reasons Rejection Request. This may be due to lack of staff or major projects with tight deadlines. The Federal Vacation Law only stipulates paid vacations of at least 20 working days. If there are no corresponding provisions for unpaid leave in the employment contract, the employee must explain his or her situation openly and honestly to the supervisor at the evaluation interview.

Under the Equal Treatment Act, employers who have already granted an employee unpaid leave cannot deny it to other employees. Consequently, it is also worth taking a look at the rest of the workforce to assess the chances of unpaid leave.

How long can you take unpaid leave?

During the duration of the leave without pay there is No requirements or restrictions. It is important that employers and employees come to an agreement. Therefore, unpaid leave can range from a few days to weeks to several months. Although the legislator has not regulated unpaid leave in the Federal Vacation Law (BurlG), there are some legal regulations for special situations:

Watch out

1. Short term absence from work: Applicant is entitled to a leave of absence for up to ten business days (for example, after an unexpected accident or if care is needed). but he can Care support allowance received from the nursing fund.
two. nursing time: According to the Nursing Leave Act, the employee is entitled to up to six months of nursing leave. The prerequisite for this is that the company employs at least 15 people. The right to care leave is applied once for each member of the family who needs care. Employees may be fully or partially released from their work. There is no money from the long-term care insurance fund, but there is the possibility of an interest-free loan from the Federal Office for Families.

sick children

Businesses need parents with children under 12 years in the year up to ten days of unpaid leave authorize. If there are several children in the home and they need to be cared for, the term can be extended up to 25 days. In the case of single parents, the right to unpaid leave is doubled to 20 or 50 days, respectively. When children are terminally ill, parents are entitled to unlimited, unpaid leave. The age of the children is irrelevant.


The corona pandemic created a challenge for companies and employees. This led to the question of whether companies should simply send their employees home without paying them. However, the company can only order unpaid leave if all employees agree. The same applies if the workers themselves request leave without pay. Here, too, an agreement between employer and employee is a prerequisite for effectiveness.

How are unpaid permits regulated in labor legislation?

In German law there is no fundamental right to unpaid leave. There are only exceptions for some situations:

– Unexpected emergency situation (flood or fire in the apartment)
– Sudden illness or accident of a family member
– maternity licence
– Claims from operating practice
– Caring for close relatives or caring for sick children (up to 12 years old)
– Honorary positions (volunteer fire department, DRK, youth organizations or municipal council)
– Claims for unpaid leave regulated in the labor or collective agreement
– Doctor
– Public service

Unpaid leave: does insurance coverage still exist?

From an employment law perspective, unpaid leave is not an issue as the employment relationship continues for the duration of the unpaid leave. However, the situation is different in the case of social security in the case of unpaid leave.

Health insurance and social security for unpaid leave

Existing insurance coverage applies for the first month. The last day of the first month the employer must remove his employee from social security. As a result, the applicant must insure himself. The employee can choose between private or voluntary mandatory insurance. Another option is non-contributory family insurance. On the contrary, this means that the employer no longer pays any contribution from the second month. The amount of the contribution for voluntary insurance always depends on the worker’s monthly income. At the end of the unpaid leave, the employer must re-register the worker with social security.

Pension insurance for unpaid leave

There is also no automatic affiliation to pension insurance after the second month. The employee must pay their own contributions to the voluntary pension scheme or set aside money privately.

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How to apply for leave without pay?

There are no formal requirements to apply for unpaid leave. However, such request must always be made in writing and signed by both parties after mutual agreement. In the event of a legal dispute, the agreement is evidence of the arrangements made previously. In the case of such serious compensation or social security consequences, a verbal settlement is not recommended.

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