Sick leave at the end of employment (when the contract ends) – sickness allowance payment rules


During employment for the period of incapacity for work due to illness or isolation due to infectious disease, the employee retains the right to 80% of remuneration unless the provisions of labour law in force at the employer provide a higher payment. An employee who suffers an accident on the way to or from work or falls ill during pregnancy, in turn, retains the right to 100% of the remuneration. Sick pay may last up to 33 days in a calendar year or 14 days for an employee over 50 years old.

Sickness allowance and the sick leave date

After 33 or 14 days, the employee is no longer entitled to sick pay, only sickness allowance. If the employer pays allowances, he continues to pay on behalf of ZUS and then settles with the office. If he is not obliged to pay benefits, he transfers the relevant documentation of the employee to ZUS, which delivers the allowance directly to the employee’s account.

After the end of the employment, ZUS pays the sickness allowance. ZUS will not pay sickness allowance after the termination of work when a person:

  • engages in economic activity o constituting a title to be covered by sickness insurance,
  • did not acquire the right to benefit during the insurance (employment) due to failure to work the qualifying period,
  • has a right to a pension, disability pension,
  • is entitled to unemployment benefits, pre-retirement benefits or pre-retirement allowance,
  • lost her insurance title after exhausting the entire period of sickness allowance

When there is a break of one day or longer between periods of sick leave, the Social Insurance Institution will also not pay sickness allowance. If the employee received sick leave after the end of employment, they should deliver it to the ZUS branch by their residence.

Sick leave after the termination of employment

If the incapacity for work occurred during employment and lasted at least 30 days without breaks, you’re entitled to the sickness benefit for its entire period – also for the time of sick leave after the end of employment. The incapacity for work must occur earlier than 14 days before the sickness insurance title termination (dismissal) and, in the case of infectious disease – earlier than within three months after the termination.

After the employment, you are entitled to sickness allowance for the period of incapacity for work caused by illness, but no longer than 91 days. The benefit period is the time of receiving sickness allowance. ZUS adds to one benefit period all periods of incapacity for work, even if different things caused it.

Sick leave on notice 

Sometimes employees benefit from sick leave after receiving notice from their employer. When you are still entitled to sick pay, the employer gets money from ZUS and pays you directly. But if the sick leave goes beyond the contract period, the employer should pay the benefit only until the contract term.

Sick leave on notice and work certificate 

The work certificate contains all employment information. The content of the work certificate should also include the information necessary to determine employee rights to social insurance. Non-contributory and contributory periods should be listed, which are extremely important in deciding pension rights. The employer shows all non-contributory periods (indicating specific sickness periods, i.e. sickness pay and allowance). The work certificate must indicate the absence period due to sick leave. The employer informs about how many days the employee received sick pay in the year of contract termination. When an employee’s sick leave extends beyond the employment period, the work certificate should show sickness leave only until the termination.