Basic Information on Sick Leave

Sick leave is a type of leave benefit granted to government employees on account of sickness or disability on his/her part, or that of the members of his/her immediate family (click here to learn how sick leave credits are earned).

Application for sick leave must be filed by the employee immediately upon return from the leave, but it is necessary to give prior notice or information of the fact of absence to the immediate supervisor. It is also possible to apply for sick leave in advance, particularly when the employee has to undergo a scheduled medical check-up or procedure.

The approval of sick leave applications is mandatory on the part of the agency head particularly when the absence is not more than five days. It is only on the following instances when the agency head may exercise discretion:

  • When the absence is for six days or more and the employee is unable to present a medical certificate; or
  • When the absence is five days or less and the agency head doubts the application, he/she may require the submission of a medical certificate as proof of illness. If the employee is unable to comply, the application may be disapproved.

For more information, you may read the provisions of the Omnibus Rules on Leave:

Sec. 49. Period within which to act on leave application – Whenever the application for leave of absence, including terminal leave, is not acted upon by the head of agency or his duly authorized representative within five (5) working days after receipt thereof, the application for leave of absence shall be deemed approved.

Sec. 53. Application for sick leave – All applications for sick leave of absence for one full day or more shall be made on the prescribed form and shall be filed immediately upon employee’s return from such leave. Notice of absence, however, should be sent to the immediate supervisor and/or to the agency head. Application for sick leave in excess of five (5) successive days shall be accompanied by a proper medical certificate.

Sick leave may be applied for in advance in cases where the official or employee will undergo medical examination or operation or advised to rest in view of ill health supported by a medical certificate.

In ordinary application for sick leave already taken not exceeding five days, the head of department or agency concerned may duly determine whether or not granting the sick leave is proper under the circumstances. In case of doubt, a medical certificate may be required.

Sec. 54. Approval of sick leave – Sick leave shall be granted only on account of sickness or disability on the part of the employee concerned or of any member of his immediate family.

Approval of sick leave, whether with pay or without pay, is mandatory, provided proof of sickness or disability is attached to the application in accordance with the requirements prescribed under the preceding section. Unreasonable delay in the approval thereof or non-approval without justifiable reason shall be a ground for appropriate sanction against the official concerned.


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