Setting Up Approval Processes for Sick Leave and Medical Certificates


In this article, we will explain how you can automatically request certificates for certain absences (e.g. illness) and set up approval processes accordingly. We will first look at how to activate certificates for absences, then at how to set up and conduct the approval process for the certificate, and to finish, we will take you through an example process from request to approval.


Activating Certificates for Absences

In your Personio account, go to Settings > Absence, select the absence type (e.g. sickness) and click on Edit. Select the checkbox for Certificate required? to activate certificates for this absence and enter after how many (sick) days a certificate should be requested.

For example, if you enter 3 absence days, the employee will be asked from the third day of absence (after day two, that is, on the morning of the third day) to upload the certificate. Weekends are not included when these days are counted.



Setting Up the Approval Process

Once you have activated certificates for an absence, the information is displayed under Settings > Approvals > Absence/"Absence type" that a certificate approval process will now also be triggered parallel to the absence request. This takes place automatically once the period after which a certificate is required, as defined in the settings, has passed. The process contains the same basic approval steps as the corresponding absence process.

In the first step, the employee will be asked via their Dashboard (My tasks) to upload a certificate. The approver (e.g. their supervisor) will at the same time receive a dashboard notification that a certificate for the employee is pending. As soon as the employee has uploaded their certificate to Personio, the approver receives a notification to that effect and can check and approve (or reject) the certificate.


The approval of sick days may be regarded more as an acknowledgment of the absence, given that absences due to sickness are not usually subject to approval.

Note that under the Documents tab, employees must have been assigned proposal rights. This is the only way to ensure that they can import their certificate.


Example Process for a Request

The following example refers to the settings shown in the screenshots above. The employee Ludwig Krause is sick and uses Personio to send a notification of his sickness.


(1) First, the employee Ludwig Krause enters the sickness period under My profile > Absences.


(2) Ludwig Krause then receives a task on his dashboard to upload a certificate for the stated period.


At the same time, his supervisor, Emma Roth, receives two to-dos (a) to confirm the illness-related absence and (b) the information regarding the pending doctor's note.


(3) Ludwig Krause uploads a scan or photo of the certificate as soon as he has it. The certificate is saved in Ludwig Krause's profile under Documents > Absence Certificates.


On his dashboard, a notification is displayed that the approval of the certificate is still pending.


(4) Emma Roth now sees on her dashboard that a doctor's note has been uploaded. She can view the certificate via the preview and then approve it.


This completes the process, and both the absence and the certificate have been approved. The process can of course be extended, for example, to also include the HR department in the approval workflow. For this, only the approval process itself needs to be adjusted.

To trigger a medical certificate request, the absence has to be entered as one single absence period. For example, if an employee is sick for three days, but enters a separate absence for each of the three days, the certificate process will not be triggered (if the setting specifies certificates to be requested with absences of 3 days or more).

In the case below, a certificate request will be triggered (certificates required from 3 days):


In the following case, a certificate request will not be triggered (certificates required from 3 days):



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