Staff members must report sick when working hours begin on their first day of sickness absence or at the time of day they leave their workplace due to sickness, as stipulated in the procedures applying at their place of work. If a staff member falls ill during the workday and leaves the workplace, the remaining part of the day must be registered as sickness absence. When a staff member reports sick when working hours begin, the entire workday must be registered as sickness absence.
When reporting absence from work due to medical examinations and treatments with a general practitioner, medical specialist, physiotherapist, dentist or outpatient hospital care which are part of a long-term course of treatment or rehabilitation etc. necessary for a member of staff to preserve or regain their health or due to operation or long-term medical treatment, staff members must provide information on the dates of their sickness absence, when possible.
Additional information may be found in the rules on reporting sick and fit for work and paid and unpaid leave.
At a minimum, an AAU staff manager of the specific place of work must invite the absent staff member for a meeting in the following situations:
- after 14 consecutive days of sickness absence
- in the case of frequent absence within a period of 12 consecutive months (five absence periods)
- in the case of a large number of consecutive sickness absence days within a 12-month period (30 days)
- in the case of frequent absence due to a child’s first and second sick days (five absence periods within a 12-month period)
- in the case of atypical absence patterns (such as certain weekdays or dates).
A meeting between a manager and a staff member held at an early stage may help prevent long periods of sickness absence and ensure that staff members are aware of their future options. The agreed timeframes stated above are minimum standards. In showing due care, managers may decide to follow up sooner.
AAU’s internal rules for follow-up on sickness absence are fully in line with Danish legislation. According to sygedagpengeloven [Sickness Benefit Act], managers must invite staff members who are absent due to sickness to a meeting no later than 4 weeks after the first day of absence. In the sickness absence review meeting, the manager must attempt to clarify how and when the staff member will be able to return to work.
This means that AAU managers may invite staff members for a meeting as early as on day 2 in case of frequent and/or atypical absence. In case of long-term sickness absence, managers must have held the sickness absence review meeting before the 4-week mark of absence.
More detailed information on regulatory obligations and possibilities in relation to long-term sickness absence in available in the AAU Handbook. The area is primarily governed by the Danish Sickness Benefit Act, and staff members who are on long-term sick leave will have to liaise with their municipality of residence.
Various materials/tools for handling sickness absence are available on the HR Department's website such as guides for the sickness absence review meeting and templates for action plans and evaluation and retention. The guides for sickness absence review meetings are available for managers and staff and may be particularly helpful for managers who have not held such a meeting before or staff members who wish to prepare for such a meeting.
Timeline – sickness absence
See attechment for a timeline for sickness absence
* The agreed timeframes are minimum standards. In showing due care, managers may decide to follow up sooner. This decision is made on an individual basis.
During their employment at Aalborg University (AAU), all staff members may need to report sick. This may be short or long term. Sickness absence must be handled in accordance with current legislation, regulations, collective agreements and AAU policies. The present rules on sickness absence management clarify when managers need to follow up on sickness absence at AAU. The rules on sickness absence management apply to all AAU staff in all places of employment, job categories and levels of employment.
The present rules must be read in conjunction with the legislation in the area. Information on the regulatory options and obligations are available in the AAU Handbook. Furthermore, the rules naturally comply with collective agreements and ministerial circulars as well as AAU’s general staff policy and occupational health and safety policy. In this context, sickness absence management is part of retention and prevention efforts. All efforts, including general conduct, review meetings and local agreements, are intended to retain staff members whenever relevant to their situation, prevent recurrences or pro-longed sickness absence.
The management of and follow-up on sick leave is closely connected to ongoing OSH efforts, including in the context of the dialogue-based workplace assessment as well as other preventive initiatives. Further information is available in Danish on the website of the central OHS section.