Self-certification means that you notify the employer that you cannot work due to illness or injury without submitting a sick note from a health professional.
- You must have worked at the employer for at least two months in order to be entitled to use self-certification.
- You can only use self-certification during the employer liability period, i.e., the first 16 calendar days of the sick leave.
- If you are away for more than three calendar days, your employer may require a sick note.
- If you have used self-certification prior to sick leave, it will be counted as used self-certification days.
- Self-certification cannot be combined with partial sick note.
How do you use self-certification?
There is no joint form for self-certification. Each employer designs routines and self-certification forms for their employees, either on paper or digitally. Check with your employer about the procedures that apply at your workplace.
How long can the self-certification last?
Under the provisions of the National Insurance Act, self-certification can be used for up to three calendar days at a time and up to four times within one year. This is a minimum scheme, and all businesses may use an expanded right to self-certification for up to the entire employer liability period.
Expanded right to self-certification
Businesses that have previously had a cooperative agreement on a more inclusive working life (IA) were obliged to have an expanded self-certification scheme, with the right to use self-certification for up to eight calendar days at a time and up to 24 calendar days over a 12-month period. There was no limit to the number of times the right to self-certification can be used.
The IA agreement for the period 2019-2022 encourages businesses to continue the expanded self-certification scheme, and also encourages businesses that have not previously had expanded self-certification to consider this scheme.
When you have to exceed the days
If you do not have more self-certification days, you must submit a sick note from a health professional. Alternatively, you can talk to your employer about using holiday days or leave (with or without pay), or you can request compassionate leave.
If you need to be at home with sick children
Self-certification applies if you have to be away from work when you yourself become ill. If you need to be away from work due to your children's illness, you may be entitled to care leave days. These days come in addition to the self-certification days you have when you are sick yourself.
You can lose your right to self-certification
Your employer may decide that you are not allowed to use self-certification if:
- you have used self-certification four times over a 12-month period
- your employer has reasonable grounds to assume that your absence is not due to illness
Your employer shall give you notice when they deprive you of the right to use self-certification so that you can make a statement.
If you have lost your right to use self-certification, the employer shall reconsider its decision after six months.