Social leave

Social leave

Your child is ill, your mother-in-law falls down the stairs or your partner suddenly needs to be hospitalised...

Fortunately, you can take social leave for “urgent reasons” such as these. What are the terms, how long are you allowed to take social leave for, and what is the situation when it comes to your pay? We’ll explain everything clearly.


What is social leave?

Social or family leave entitles you, the employee, to be absent from work for urgent reasons. Urgent reasons are defined as any unforeseen event, not related to work, that requires the employee’s involvement. This applies primarily in the event of sickness or accident.

When am I entitled to social leave?

As we have just said, you are entitled to social or family leave for any unforeseen event that requires your involvement. This covers:

  • Sickness, accident or sudden hospital admission of your partner or family member, if you live under the same roof
  • Sickness, accident or hospital admission of a child (or child-in-law) or parent (or parent-in-law), even if you don’t live under the same roof
  • Serious, material damage to property, such as damage to your home, for example due to storm or fire
  • The order to appear in person at a court hearing if you are party to proceedings
  • Will I be paid during social leave?
  • In principle, social leave is unpaid. However, the company may agree different arrangements and, for example, pay your wages for a few days.

What are my obligations if I take social leave?

If you take social leave you must notify your employer in advance if possible. If it isn’t possible, then inform your employer as soon as you can. Your employer may also ask you to prove the urgent reasons by producing suitable documents or other evidence.

How long can I take social leave for?

If you take social leave you have the right to be absent for as long as your involvement is required. Please note: every employee may take a maximum of 10 days’ ‘leave for urgent reasons’ every year.

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