Certificate of incapacity for work (eAU): From January 2023, sick notes in Germany go digital
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Certificate of incapacity for work (eAU): From January 2023, sick notes in Germany go digital

The electronic certificate of incapacity for work (eAU) is expected to become mandatory from January 2023. Companies should prepare for this and change their processes.

When will the electronic certificate of incapacity for work be introduced?

Employers can already retrieve the certificate of incapacity for work electronically. A pilot scheme is currently running, which will end on 31 December 2022. From 1 January 2023, the electronic certificate of incapacity for work (eAU) will then be mandatory, after which employers in Germany will no longer receive a paper sick note, the so-called “yellow slip” or “Gelber Schein”, from their employees.

Which law regulates the electronic certificate of incapacity for work?

The notification procedure between the health insurance provider and the employer is regulated by paragraph 109 of the Fourth Book of the Social Code. However, the reporting procedure is much more complicated. Doctors must also report a patient’s incapacity for work electronically to the health insurance provider so that the data is available for employers to retrieve, as the Ecovis experts know.

From 2023, there will only be electronic certificates of incapacity for work . Companies must therefore adapt their processes.
Andreas Islinger, tax consultant, ECOVIS Bayla-Union GmbH, Munich, Germany

How does the electronic certificate of incapacity for work function in practice?

In future, doctors must report the sick notes electronically. Employees will only receive a printout for their own records. However, employees are still obliged to inform their employer of the inability to work and its duration. The employer then retrieves the electronic certificate of incapacity for work via their wages programme or sv.net. Employers whose wages are prepared by a tax advisor can retrieve the certificate through their payroll clerk. However, for this to happen, the processes must be adapted to the new procedure, because the yellow slip will no longer exist.

How can companies prepare for the electronic certificate of incapacity for work?

Companies must adapt their processes. Until now, it was clear that the yellow slip had to be handed in to the payroll office. In future, the employee’s verbal or written notification of incapacity for work must also be passed on. Written notification of incapacity for work by means of a form or an email from employees is recommended, because verbal notifications can quickly get lost in everyday life.

For further information please contact:

Andreas Islinger, tax advisor and pension consultant, Ecovis Germany, Munich, Germany
Email: andreas.islinger@ecovis.com

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