When you are ill

Notification of illness

  • You must notify the workplace that you are ill at the start of the working day on the first day of illness in accordance with the local guidelines for the specific workplace.
  • If you are to undergo surgery or prolonged treatment, you must inform your workplace of the dates of your absence as soon as you know them. This is to enable the work to be planned and tasks to be reassigned.

Sickness absence interviews


  • In the event of sickness for an extended period (more than 21 days), AU has a duty to invite you to a sickness absence interview, giving reasonable notice, within four weeks of your first day of absence.
  • AU HR recommends that these interviews should be held around the 10th to the 14th day of absence.
  • If the absence continues, an interview should be held every two to four weeks.
  • If you have had several periods of absence, you will also be called in for an interview.


  • The interview will be led by your immediate supervisor.
  • Your supervisor may bring a representative from the HR department to the interview.
  • You will always be invited to bring an observer. This could be your union representative, occupational health and safety representative or another observer.

The actual interview

The interview should be conducted in a spirit of mutual cooperation between you and your supervisor - with a focus on positive dialogue.

The purpose of the interview is to:

  • discuss the status of your absence due to illness.
  • discuss the possibilities for full or partial resumption of work.
  • discuss possible ways of helping you to return to work.

Your supervisor cannot ask you specifically what is wrong, but you can always choose to tell your supervisor anyway.

There is a duty to record, and therefore notes must be taken in connection with any interview on absence due to illness. Your supervisor will ensure that a summary of the interview is written including any agreements made. The summary will be archived in your employee personnel file.

Doctor’s certificate

The university may require you to document your absence due to illness with a doctor’s certificate.

AU will pay the cost of the doctor’s certificate.

The university may obtain the following doctor’s certificates:

Certificate of fitness for work:

  • Used if there is uncertainty as to which job functions you can perform.
  • Prepared with a view to keeping you at work.
  • Makes it possible for you and for AU to obtain your doctor’s assessment of whether you will be able to perform relevant work functions in the future without your health suffering.
  • You must fill in the first part of the certificate together with your immediate supervisor. Your doctor will fill in the second part. The doctor will assess whether the specified functions are compatible with your health.
  • The university may ask for a certificate of fitness for work at any point in time during your absence due to illness.
  • The university may also obtain a certificate of fitness for work if you have been off sick repeatedly - even if you are not currently absent due to illness. 

Certificate of duration:

  • Used for employees covered by the Danish Salaried Employees Act.
  • Used if you expect to be absent for more than 14 days, and if your immediate supervisor does not consider it appropriate to obtain a certificate of fitness for work.
  • Indicates how long you expect to be on sick leave.

Medical statement of incapacity for work:

Used as documentation of illness as a lawful reason for absence, e.g.:

  • in case of frequent or atypical absence.
  • if you are unable to come in for an interview.
  • if the illness started during your holiday.
  • Your immediate supervisor can only ask for a medical statement of incapacity for work during the current period of absence.

You are required to attend an interview called by your immediate supervisor within normal working hours if your illness permits it. If you are unable to attend because of your illness, you can conduct the interview over the phone. 

Salary and sickness benefits

  • If AU pays your salary while you are ill, AU has the right to be paid any sickness benefits that you would otherwise have received from the municipality.
  • The municipality can stop the payment of sickness benefits to AU if you do not assist in the municipality’s handling of your case.  

In case of chronic or long-term illness

If you are suffering from a chronic or long-term condition that is expected to cause at least 10 days of absence in a year, you and your immediate supervisor may ask the municipality for a Section 56 agreement.

You can enter into a Section 56 agreement in the following cases:

  • When your risk of illness is significantly increased by a long-term or chronic condition such as migraine or epilepsy, and the absence due to this condition is expected to amount to at least 10 days within a year.
  • When you are to be admitted to hospital or treated as an outpatient, and your hospitalisation or treatment had been decided on when you started your employment.
  • When AU has already paid sickness benefits due to the same illness for 21 days during your current period of employment, within the past 12 months prior to the hospitalisation or treatment.  

Early follow-up by the municipality

  • If your absence due to illness is expected to last for more than eight weeks, you or your immediate supervisor may request a fast-track procedure from the municipality.
  • Fast track is voluntary, and it is something that you and your manager can agree on.
  • Fast track means that you will automatically have the first follow-up interview with the municipality no later than two weeks after the request, compared to the normal eight weeks from the first day of absence. This means that the municipality can provide the relevant support and specific tools sooner.  

Retention plan

  • If your absence due to illness is expected to last for more than eight weeks from the first day of illness, you can ask for a written retention plan if your immediate supervisor considers this appropriate.
  • The retention plan must be prepared in collaboration between you and your immediate supervisor. The retention plan
    • might contain a description of e.g. special workplace arrangements and changed tasks with a focus on a complete or partial return to work
    • should be specific and action-oriented
    • should be taken to the follow-up interview at the job centre.