Help in the Corona Pandemic: Children’s sick days more than doubled

Status: 04/30/2022 10:08 a.m

An analysis by Barmer Krankenkasse shows that parents apparently took significantly more child sick pay days in 2021 than in 2020. The reason was the closure of daycare centers or schools due to the pandemic.

Parents apparently took significantly more child sick pay days last year than in the previous year. This emerges from an analysis by the health insurance company Barmer, which is available to the “Welt am Sonntag”. Overall, the fund approved around 1.3 million child sickness benefit days in 2021, more than twice as many as in the previous year with around 566,000 days.

“The children’s sick pay relieves parents who have to look after their children themselves. It has proven itself particularly well in times of crisis,” said Barmer boss Christoph Straub of the newspaper. Around 30 percent of the total paydays in 2021 were accounted for by the pandemic-related child sickness benefit. Parents whose children had to be looked after due to school and daycare closures during the Corona crisis could have used this for the first time.

Women more often at home than men

However, according to the analysis, there is a clear imbalance in child sickness benefit days in families. In the past year, women claimed child sickness benefit on a total of around 964,000 days (73 percent). For men, it was about 351,000 days (27 percent).

This shows “clearly that women in families often still bear the brunt of childcare,” said Straub. “They stay at home much more often and take care of the children more often than the men.”

Strong demand for new children’s sick pay

Figures from health insurance companies from the first quarter of 2021 had already shown that the newly introduced Corona child sickness benefit was apparently in high demand.

The Techniker Krankenkasse, the health insurance company with the largest number of members in Germany, reported around 133,000 applications from all over Germany for the pandemic-related child sickness benefit for the months of January to March 2021. The number was almost twice as high as the number of regular child sickness benefit applications in the first three months of 2021 (79,491).

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