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A relevant ruling from the supreme court (OGH) regarding vacation and sickness leave is now available. Find more details here:
According to the “vacation law” (Urlaubsgesetz) an ongoing vacation is interrupted by sickness, if the sickness takes longer than three days and the employer is immediately informed about the sickness.
The idea of the employee duty to report the sickness is to ensure that the employer has enough lead time to reorganize the work in case of a long-term sickness. The report of the employee itself has no formal criteria, but the employee has actually to be unable to work. This means if the employee reports that he will visit a doctor, the preconditions have not yet been met.
As an example, it is not sufficient if an employee sends a SMS to his employer stating that he had health issues during his vacation. He needs to actively communicate that he was unable to work.
In the current ruling the supreme court confirmed that the SMS sent to the employer did not clarify that the employee was unable to work, therefore the absence was considered as vacation and not sickness leave (OGH 17.5.2018, 9 ObA 43/18s).