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If an employee becomes ill and unable to work, they will initially receive continued pay and later sick pay. However, the prerequisite is that they present a medical report if they are ill for more than three days. The so-called yellow notes have the legal quality of a document.

In Germany, millions of certificates of incapacity for work are issued every year. As a result, dismissals due to illness, disputes about continued payment of wages or allegations of fraud in German courts are not uncommon.
Most of the time, however, it is either a matter of errors by the employee when submitting the yellow note, which the employer makes the subject of a notice of termination, or dismissals due to illness, which an employer has issued due to significant absences on the part of the employee.

The constant case law gives an AU a high evidential value. The employer can only shake this evidential value in narrow exceptional cases by raising serious and objectively justified doubts about the actual existence of the incapacity for work.
AU issued by telephone, for example, as permitted during the corona pandemic, worsened the evidential value in court.

Employees who submit a sick note or a certificate of incapacity for work immediately after being given notice and who are absent from work until the period of notice has expired can therefore not automatically expect continued payment of their salary. If an employee resigns and is still unable to work on the day of the dismissal, this can shake the evidential value of the certificate of incapacity, ruled the Federal Labor Court. This applies in particular if the certified incapacity for work precisely covers the duration of the notice period.