Illness during holidays


If the purpose of a holiday is for the employee to rest, it is not always without health risks. Between difficulties to adapt to the local food, risks of accident during hikes or scuba diving... The employee sometimes gets injured or sick during his holidays. How should the employer handle this situation?

Holiday recovery

The purpose of a holiday is for the employee to have fun and rest. This purpose can be compromised when the employee suffers a health impairment. Under certain conditions, the employer will have to pay the salary of the employee who is unable to work and let him/her recover his/her vacation days.

Little boo boos

For the employee to be able to recover his vacation days, the health problem must be of a certain gravity. What about a nervous breakdown, the flu, quarantine or food poisoning? How should an employer deal with an employee who is bedridden for a day or two? The line is sometimes hard to draw.

Inability to work or to enjoy holidays

Some situations are particularly delicate. Does an inability to work always mean an inability to enjoy vacation? What about a bricklayer who sprains his wrist or a receptionist who loses her voice? Is the situation different when it is the employee's child who is ill?

Medical certificate

The employee must prove his or her health impairment by means of a medical certificate. Such proof can be difficult to provide, especially when the employee is on holidays abroad. In which language should the medical certificate be written? Can the employee wait until he/she returns from vacation to notify the employer?

Vacationing during sick leave

Sometimes employees take vacations abroad on their own initiative when they are unable to work, especially when their family offers to join them and have a good time during their sick leave. Such a situation is problematic.

Under certain circumstances, the employer may question the employee's medical certificate. The loss of earnings insurance sometimes refuses to pay benefits when the employee goes abroad. The question then arises whether the employer must pay the employee's salary. 

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1 Mar, 2010 byMarianne Favre Moreillon