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Old 20.01.2015, 13:55
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Sick leave and change in illness

Dear all,

After working for several years for my employer, I have been on medical leave during the past months. Initially I was diagnosed with burn-out, but as the illness progressed I got diagnosed with depression.

I was told that the protection period against dismissal while being sick is renewed with each new diagnosis or illness.

Would anyone know exactly what document is needed from my doctor as evidence of the change in diagnosis so that the legal protection period would be extended? what shall I send to my employer to communicate this change?

Thank you!
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Old 21.01.2015, 15:20
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Re: Sick leave and change in illness

First and foremost: burnout and depression are so closely related that it is highly unlikely anyone will convince either the insurance or the employer that they are in fact two separate illnesses that have nothing to do with each other.

There are two aspects when it comes to extended illness:
- protection period in the sense of protection against dismissal
- continuation of payment.

It is correct that the protection period re-starts at zero with every new illness. However, that would require you to have gotten healthy and returend to work before a falling ill again. That is apparently not the case. You have not recovered, never returned to work and as outlined above, these two illnesses are clearly not independent of each other.

Had you been absent due to burnout for 2 months, then gone back to work for a month, only to then be diagnosed with a herniated disk, things would be different.

Also, it is none of your employers' business as to what it is exactly that you were diagnosed with and you are in no way obliged to disclose the nature of your illness. All you have to provide is a sick note. That is of course unless you choose to be transparent.

Note that even if the protection period runs out, you are still entitled to sick pay, though of course not forever either. You are simply not protected against dismissal anymore, unless of course the employer voluntarily agrees to not terminate your contract just yet.
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