Introduction of the electronic
certificate of incapacity for work (eAU)
in the company

From January 1, 2023, all employers must electronically query their employees' certificates of incapacity for work from the health insurance funds. Paper notifications will no longer be required. Many questions about the procedure are still unanswered as of the start date.

The BDA has created an FAQ for the most frequently asked questions.

To find out how employers can access the electronic certificate of incapacity to work even without their own software, visit the ITSG site.

Procedure as of January 1, 2023

Introduction of the electronic certificate of incapacity for work (eAU) in the company

If you click on the image, you can download the eAU information flyer.

  1. The employee shall immediately notify the employer of his/her inability to work. This obligation may already exist before the visit to the doctor or hospitalization. The employee must also immediately report the expected duration of his incapacity for work.
  2. The employee receives a printout of the AU data from his doctor's office for himself. At his request, he will also receive a printed AU certificate for his employer.
  3. After the doctor's visit, by 24:00 at the latest, the doctor's office transmits the incapacity to work data electronically to the health insurance fund. In the event of a hospital stay, the hospital transmits the stay and discharge data to the health insurance fund.
  4. The employer or an authorized representative (e.g. a tax consulting firm) sends a request for the eAU to the health insurance company via its communication server.
  5. After receiving the request, the health insurance company makes the eAU available for retrieval on the communication server. The employer or his representative receives a notification that the eAU has been made available. Retrieval should be available the day following the medical determination.

    EXCEPTION: If the eAU has not yet arrived at the health insurance company (e.g. because it has not yet been transmitted by the practice or there is no Internet connection in the practice), the employer or his authorized representative will receive a corresponding error message. In this case, there may be a time delay in retrieving the eAU (postage).

Legal basis

§ Section 109 (1) SGB IV in conjunction with § Section 295 (1) sentence 1 no. 1 SGB V
stipulates that from January 1, 2022, the health insurance funds must prepare a report for retrieval by the employer following receipt of the incapacity for work data. The same applies in accordance with § 109 Para. 3a SGB IV after receipt of the expected duration and end of inpatient hospital stays (§ 301 Para. 1 Sentence 1 SGB V) and in accordance with § 109 Para. 3b SGB IV after receipt of incapacity to work data in the case of accidents at work and occupational diseases (§ 201 Para. 2 SGB VII).

§ 125 SGB IV
provides for a corresponding pilot as of July 1, 2021. As a result of the Act to Improve Transparency in Old-Age Insurance and Rehabilitation and to Modernize Social Security Elections (Digital Pension Overview Act), the start of the procedure as well as the piloting was postponed. Piloting is now permitted from January 1, 2022.

The mandatory start of the procedure was initially scheduled for July 1, 2022. Due to delays in the upstream phase between physicians and health insurers, an extension of the pilot phase was approved until December 31, 2022, with the Act to Extend Special Regulations in Connection with the COVID 19 Pandemic in Short-Time Worker's Compensation and Other Benefits. The mandatory start date was thus postponed to January 1, 2023.

The obligation to report incapacity for work pursuant to Section 5 (1) sentence 1 EntgFG shall continue to apply beyond January 1, 2023.

- Incapacity for work from the contract physician/dentist - Incapacity for work in the event of an accident at work - Inpatient hospital stay -

Retrievable certificates

- private doctors, doctors or illness abroad - rehabilitation benefits - employment prohibitions - illness of the child - reintegration -

Certificates that cannot be retrieved

Good to know: Calling up the eAU only makes sense if the employee is already obliged at this time to have an incapacity for work determined by the doctor and this could already be transmitted by the doctor to the health insurance fund.

Procedure in case of technical malfunction

Introduction of the electronic certificate of incapacity for work (eAU) in the company

If you click on the image, you can download the eAU information flyer.