eAU from January 01.01.2023st, XNUMX: Why the actual potential for employers has not yet been exhausted

The introduction of the "electronic certificate of incapacity for work" (in short: eAU) initially sounds very sensible in the age of digitization and de-bureaucratization:

  1. Employee (AN) feels sick and goes to the doctor
  2. AN reports to his employer that he is absent (here: sick) and must now also state whether with or without a certificate including the expected Duration of absence due to illness
  3. If necessary, the doctor certifies the incapacity to work and transmits the AU electronically to the health insurance company
  4. AG (or the commissioned service provider/tax consultant) retrieves the AU electronically from the respective statutory health insurance company
  5. Health insurance transmits eAU to AG

This electronic notification procedure is intended to replace the many yellow paper slips (today: over 70 million sick notes per year in quadruple copies) and at first glance only offers advantages for employees, employers, doctors and health insurance companies:

  • Less paper
  • Release of the AN from the delivery to the AG
  • No more media breaks
  • Reduction of creation/transmission costs
  • Secure, complete and timely transmission and documentation

However, multiple postponements of the obligatory start date for AGs (currently: January 01.01.2023st, 11.03.2022 – most recently by approval of the Federal Council on March XNUMXth, XNUMX) indicate that the reality is becoming significantly more complicated, especially for employers.

A key reason is exceptions. In addition to the fact that private health insurance companies and thus privately insured employees do not take part in the eAU procedure, there are other AU certificates that are issued using the previous paper method (e.g. child is ill, rehabilitation, private doctors).

In practice, this means for AG that processes for different transmission paths must be created, which is associated with additional effort instead of relief. At least until the desired digital process has actually replaced all analogue processes.

In perspective, however, the eAU for AG offers considerable potential in terms of process simplification and efficiency. Here are some examples:

  • Faster data transmission of absences and thus short-term adjustment options in personnel deployment planning,
  • Significantly lower handling effort and reduced sources of error when processing sick leave (open mail, enter data),
  • Elimination of archiving

We advise employers and especially human resources departments to deal with the topic of eAU and related processes at an early stage, despite existing uncertainties. The focus here should be on the way in which time recording systems, personnel deployment planning and payroll accounting receive the relevant data.

How do you see the future of the eAU?