Hospital leave due to illness or hospitalisation of a family member is one of the most neglected rights in the workplace. The employee’s lack of knowledge in this area is used by employers to their own advantage in order to save on the costs involved.
The first thing you should know is that this leave is a type of paid leave. In other words, the employer is obligated to pay you for these days just as if you were on ordinary sick leave. This way, you will have the possibility of accompanying your family member without having to be at work.
At GyV we look after the safety at work of our clients, so in this post we will explain to you the keys points of this type of leave and we will resolve the most common questions about it so that if you find yourself in this situation, you can be informed of your rights.

What is sick leave for illness or hospitalisation of a family member?

This is paid leave that entitles an employee to be absent from work for a period of time without deduction of pay due to the illness or hospitalisation of a family member.
This leave is governed by the Workers’ Statute and is found in article 37 of the main paid leave.

How many days can I take off work?

If you do not need to travel, the law says that as a general rule it is 2 days. However, if you do have to travel, the period is 4 days. A commute is considered such if the journey is more than 200 km from your place of origin.

What happens if my relative is hospitalised again?

In this case, the Workers’ Statute does not establish any action to be taken, and therefore there is no jurisprudence. However, it is understood that, even if it is on successive occasions, the worker still has the right to ask for this leave.

Will I receive full pay for these days?

The employer is obligated to pay you for these days as if you had gone to work, i.e. the salary does not change. For this reason, your salary will have to reflect the pay you normally receive.

What degree of familiar relationship must there be?

In order to be able to apply for this leave, the relative must be at least a second degree of consanguinity or affinity. To better understand this:

  • First-degree relatives: Parents, children, spouses, parents-in-law, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law
  • Second degree relatives: Grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, brothers and sisters, brothers and sisters-in-law

However, it should be noted that married couples are considered to be first-degree relatives, but not couples in civil union arrangements. However, there are some collective labour agreements that recognise this type of relationship as a first-degree relative.

How do I apply for this leave?

You must notify your employer in writing and with a reasonable amount of time in advance (link to Penalties for late hiring or dismissal of workers) so that the employer can hire a replacement or re-organise their staff. You must also provide a medical certificate from the hospital stating that the family member is in the hospital, and you must prove that the family member is a first or second degree relative.