Employees must take certain measures if they are unable to work because of illness or accident. To be able to justify their absence from work and take sick leave, employees must submit, to their employer and health insurance fund, in a timely manner, a medical certificate issued by a physician certifying their incapacity for work and stating how long it is expected to last.
A medical certificate of incapacity for work becomes necessary for the CNS in the case of an absence beyond 2 working days. The employer can request a medical certificate as of the first day of absence.
The employee must:
- send the 1st sheet of the form to the CNS;
- send the 2nd sheet to their employer (or their representative) ;
- keep the 3rd sheet.
Who is concerned
All persons for whom registration is mandatory, regardless of their professional status, who do not report to their place of work due to illness or accident, must declare their incapacity for work using a medical certificate.
Certain deadlines must be met to declare an incapacity for work to the CNS and to the employer.
How to proceed
Means of declaring incapacity for work
Private sector employees' or self-employed workers' obligations towards the CNS (sheet 1)
The private sector insured must send the 1st sheet of his medical certificate to the CNS by no later than the 3rd day (postmarked) of his incapacity for work. If the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, it is extended to the next working day.
The medical certificate of incapacity for work must be established no later than the 3rd day of incapacity for work or its extension. These procedures should also be followed when employees are on leave.
Employees who fail to submit their medical certificates to the CNS in time may be subject to a fine.
Employee's obligations to their employer (sheet 2)
On the first day of absence, employees must inform their employer or the latter's representative – orally or in writing (e-mail, fax or text message), either personally or through an intermediary – of their incapacity for work. In addition, the medical certificate (sheet 2), certifying the incapacity for work and how long it is expected to last, must be delivered to the employer or the latter's representative by no later than the third day of absence.
If employees cannot be sure that their employer will receive their certificate in time by post (when they are abroad, for example), they should send it by other means.
These procedures should also be followed when employees are on leave. In this case, the leave is interrupted by the illness:
Cross-border workers may be issued a certificate of incapacity for work by a physician in their country of residence.
Obligations to the National Employment Agency (ADEM) (sheet 2)
If unemployed residents are unable to work due to illness or accident, they must inform their ADEM guidance counsellor and send the latter a certificate of incapacity for work.
No addition, annotation, deletion, alteration or supplementation of data may be made by the beneficiary or by a third party in the sections of the form reserved for the doctor, at the risk of incurring sanctions and invalidating the certificate.
Permission to leave home during incapacity for work
Persons on sick leave may not leave home during the first five days of incapacity for work (despite any indication to the contrary on the medical certificate of incapacity for work). From the 6th day of sick leave (if leaving home has not been advised against by the medical practitioner), the worker is allowed to go out between 10.00 and 12.00 and between 14.00 and 18.00 (even if this is not specified on the medical certificate of incapacity for work). In case of non-compliance, the CNS can issue warnings and/or fines.
A person on sick leave may not:
- take part in sports activities (unless medically indicated);
- engage in an activity that is not compatible with their state of health;
- go to a drinking or eating establishment, except to have a meal (as of the first day of incapacity for work) and provided the person has previously informed the CNS by phone, fax or email.
The person on sick leave must provide the relevant health fund with the exact address (district, street, number, floor, etc.) where they will be staying during the period of incapacity for work. If said address is different from the home address, it must be specified on the medical certificate of incapacity for work, or failing this, be communicated to the CNS by phone, fax or email.
Essential visits to the Social Security Medical Board (Contrôle médical de la sécurité sociale – CMSS), to the patient's doctor, or to any other health practitioner are allowed at any time and, if need be, should be documented by the employee on sick leave.
The administrative check carried out by the CNS is a measure to verify whether the person on sick leave is actually at home. The check can take place between 8.00 and 21.00. These checks concern both residents and non-residents and may be carried out from the first day of incapacity for work.
During the administrative control, a statement of presence or contravention is drawn up. If the worker is found to be absent during the administrative check, the inspector will leave an administrative check notice. The person on sick leave must then provide a note explaining the reasons for their absence within 3 days of the administrative check.
Going abroad during incapacity for work
A stay abroad during a work stoppage can be granted by the CNS in case of serious illness and only in these cases (e.g.: cancer, stroke, severe heart failure, sclerosis, etc.) upon prior request, for a specified period, on the concordant advice of the treating physician and the Social Security Medical Board. A stay in the neighbouring region is automatically authorised under certain conditions.
Persons authorised to receive palliative care may be allowed to reside abroad for as long as they receive palliative care if a written request is sent to the CNS in advance.
Finally and always on prior request, the CNS can grant a stay abroad for a maximum of one working week, on the advice of the treating doctor and exclusively in the following cases:
- observation of a consolidated illness in the context of invalidity proceedings;
- death abroad of a parent or relative of the first degree or spouse or partner;
- birth abroad of a child of the person declared unable to work.
Applications for authorization to stay abroad must be sent to the relevant department of the CNS within a minimum of 3 weeks before departure, except in the case of death or birth.
Applications for permission to stay abroad must be sent to:
Services Contrôle et gestion des certificats d’incapacité de travail
Determining rate of pay to employee during incapacity for work
Employees (excluding those employed in the employer's household)
In the event of incapacity for work due to illness, employees in the private sector shall:
- continue to be paid by their employer until the end of the month in which the 77th day of incapacity for work occurs, during a reference period of 12 consecutive months;
- and, where applicable, receive sickness benefit, starting in the month following the 77th day of illness; The sickness benefit will be paid by the CNS.
During the period in which the salary is maintained, the employer must comply with all clauses of the employment contract, since employees who are unable to work are entitled to the full salary and other benefits due to them under their employment contract, including any commission provided for in the contract.
The general principles applicable to employees are also applicable to self-employed beneficiaries.
For self-employed workers voluntarily affiliated with the Employers' Mutual Insurance Scheme (Mutualité des employeurs - MDE), the latter ensures, during the period of suspension of the monetary compensation, the payment of pecuniary indemnities.
Domestic workers employed in the employer's household
For contributing workers employed in the employer's household (housekeepers, persons providing private care or care for dependent persons, etc.), the monetary allowance is calculated on the basis of the number of hours during which the contributor fulfils the conditions for payment of the monetary allowance and the hourly wage used for the calculation of the contributions for the previous calendar month.
Government employees (civil servants, public and municipal employees)
Government employees are entitled to continued compensation for the entire duration of their sick leave.
Forms / Online services
Who to contact
Health Insurance Fund for Civil Servants and Communal Employees20, avenue Emile Reuter
Phone : (+352) 45 05 15Fax : (+352) 45 02 01-222
Health Insurance Fund for Civil Servants and State Employees32, avenue Marie-Thérèse
Phone : (+352) 45 16 81Fax : (+352) 45 67 50