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Parents took more than 1,5 million days off for child sickness this year

Parents took more than 1,5 million days off for child sickness this year

Parents took more than 1,5 million days off for child sickness this year

Figures from German health insurance companies show that, during the third wave of the coronavirus in Germany, parents collectively took 1,5 million days off work due to child sickness.

Parents take advantage of child sickness days

The coronavirus pandemic in Germany saw schools and daycare centres close across the country, leaving parents with no option but to either work from home or take time off work. Accordingly, parents in Germany took more than 1,5 million child sickness days off work between January and May this year, during the third wave of the pandemic.

Parents in Germany applied for the child sickness benefit more than 600.000 times during the third wave, according to health insurance companies AOK-Bundesverband, Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), Barmer, and DAK-Gesundheit, who revealed the figures on request. According to data from Barmer, parents took an average of two to three child sickness days a month.

Coronavirus measures in Germany saw the child sickness days allowance triple, from 10 to 30 days per parent, and from 20 to 60 days for single parents.

Health insurers pay out millions

During the course of the pandemic, child sickness benefits were granted in four cases: if schools and daycare centres closed, if they were only offering emergency services, if the requirement for children to be in schools is lifted, or if children are forced to quarantine due to the coronavirus. Normally, parents only receive the benefit if they have to take time off work to care for their sick children.

Child sickness benefits amount to 90 percent of parents' lost net earnings.

A spokesperson for the AOK-Bundesverband said that the AOK’s health insurance fund had taken a hit of more than 56 million euros between January and May due to childhood sickness payments. These costs are paid for by the taxpayer, however, the federal government has promised to subsidise the funds.

In Germany, around 27 million people are insured with AOK, more than 10 million are insured with TK, 9 million with Barmer and a further 5,6 million with DAK-Gesundheit. The DAK revealed that 70 percent of their pandemic-related child sickness claims were made by women.

William Nehra

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William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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