Last updated more than 5 years ago
Who is concernedThe specific provisions apply to all government employees (civil servants, employees and labourers).
How to proceed
Requesting medical leave
Government employees who are unable to work as a result of an accident or illness must immediately inform the person to whom they report and seek medical leave.
Requirement to provide a medical certificate
Medical leave is granted to government employees without production of a medical certificate for a maximum period of 3 consecutive days.
Beyond 3 days, the government employee must produce a medical certificate stating the duration of the incapacity for work, the place of treatment (at home or in the hospital) and, if applicable, the hours of absence authorised by the attending physician. That certificate must be delivered to the head of the department or the department head's delegate no later than 2 days after it is issued.
The medical certificate takes effect on the date of its issuance or, where applicable, the next morning. In no event may the certificate apply retroactively.
Initial medical certificate and extension
The initial certificate issued by the physician and attesting to an incapacity for work must not exceed a duration of 5 days, except where the nature of the insured employee's illness or hospitalisation requires a longer period.
In all other cases, a second doctor's appointment is required if the incapacity for work will be longer than 5 days.
Government employees who have become ill are required to return to work as soon as their health permits, even if their medical leave has not yet expired.
Government employees who are unable to return to work must seek an extension of their medical leave by informing the person to whom they report no later than the day prior to the date on which they are expected to return to work. If the day prior to the planned return to work falls on a Sunday or a public holiday, the extension of the medical leave must be sought immediately on the first day on which the employee was expected to return to work.
Department heads or their delegates may order visits to the government employee's home by a departmental employee or medical examinations by the inspecting doctor whenever they deem it necessary, even if the leave sought does not exceed 3 days.
Government employees on medical leave may not leave their homes or place of treatment except during the hours of absence authorised by the attending physician, except to attend a doctor appointment or for medical or hospital treatment.
Payment and annual leave
Government employees are entitled to continued pay for the entire duration of their sick leave, as long as they are covered by a medical certificate whenever an incapacity for work exceeds 3 consecutive days.
Whatever its duration, days of medical leave are deemed work days giving rise to a right to annual leave.
Sanctions for not obtaining a medical certificate
If a government employee is absent for more than 3 consecutive working days without providing a medical certificate, the absence is deemed unwarranted and sanctions are applied.
In the event of an unauthorised absence, government employees may lose the portion of their pay corresponding to the time that they were absent, though this does not preclude any other disciplinary measures.
Additional penalties are also applicable for government employees who:
- pretend to be incapable of working or extend their medical leave for health reasons without valid cause;
- do not return to work as soon as their health permits;
- leave their home or place of treatment other than during hours that have been authorised by the attending physician or as necessary for doctor appointments or medical or hospital treatment;
- have failed to present themselves for a check ordered by their head of department or the department head's delegate.
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