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An employee submits a medical certificate later than permitted?

The answer in detail

Medical certificate submitted too late?

Every employer is entitled to demand a medical certificate from an employee. If the employee fails to meet this requirement, this may be an indication to the employer that the employee is not unfit for work. In such a case, you as an employer can issue the employee with a written warning.

When can I request a medical certificate from an employee?

In general, the employer can demand a medical certificate from the first day of incapacity to work, even if there is nothing in the employment contract on the matter. However, if the employment contract stipulates otherwise (e.g. only after the third day), then a certificate can only be requested thereafter. 

What applies in the case of a retroactively issued medical certificate?

This is a difficult issue and for this reason each individual case should be clarified, since it depends on the duration of the retroactive effect and many other factors. In general, retroactive medical certificates are also valid, since you can’t always go see the doctor on the first day of incapacity. A medical certificate that was created retroactively for three days was not deemed to be excessive by the Federal Supreme Court.

Can I summarily dismiss the employee without first issuing such a warning?

Termination without notice is only justified in very few exceptional cases (see instant dismissal by the employer). 

We have drawn up a template to help you warn the employee.

Important documents
Vorlage Verwarnung verspaetetes Arztzeugnis