How are sick leaves handled in Colombia?

Sick leaves in Colombia are well-regulated to ensure that employees can recover from illnesses without losing their job or income. Employers are responsible for initial compensation and maintaining job security, while the Social Security System provides extended leave benefits.

Sick Leave Entitlements

  1. Medical Certification: To qualify for sick leave, an employee must provide a medical certificate from a recognized healthcare provider. This certificate must specify the diagnosis and the required duration of leave.

  2. Notification: Employees should inform their employer as soon as possible about their illness and provide the medical certificate promptly.

Duration and Compensation

  1. Short-term Sick Leave: For the first two days of sick leave, the employer is responsible for paying 100% of the employee's salary.

  2. Extended Sick Leave: From the third day onward, the employee is entitled to receive a benefit from the Social Security System. This benefit is equivalent to two-thirds (66.67%) of the employee’s salary.

  3. Maximum Duration: The maximum duration for sick leave covered by the Social Security System is 180 days. If the illness extends beyond this period, additional measures or evaluations are required.

Employer Resposibilities

  1. Record Keeping: Employers must maintain accurate records of employees' sick leaves, including medical certificates and compensation details.

  2. Job Protection: Employers cannot terminate an employee solely due to illness. The job must be protected during the sick leave period.

  3. Notification to Social Security: Employers must notify the Social Security System of the employee’s sick leave to ensure proper compensation from the third day onward.

Employee Rights

  1. Job Security: Employees on sick leave are entitled to job security and cannot be dismissed due to their illness.

  2. Salary Compensation: Employees should receive full salary compensation for the first two days from their employer and 66.67% from the Social Security System from the third day onwards.

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