Number of sick leave days indicated in the Social Security Guidelines

On Monday, January 8, Health Minister Mónica García announced in an interview with Onda Cero that her ministry was studying the establishment of a three-day “automatic de-escalation” to ease the saturation of primary care centers situation. Facing peak cases of respiratory viruses like influenza or COVID-19. This measure has not yet been implemented; however, as a guide, since 2004 the National Institute of Social Security has been editing the Manual on the Optimum Time for Temporary Disability (latest version 2018), which indicates what doctors can prescribe for respiratory diseases Sick leave days, etc.

According to social security documents, the diseases that prescribe the most days of sick leave are mediastinal abscess (up to 90 days) and pulmonary edema and empyema without fistula (up to 60 days). On the other hand, for illnesses such as chronic nasopharyngitis, laryngeal edema, and acute nasopharyngitis (common cold), the leave can last up to 4 days.

What is sick leave? The General Social Security Act defines it as a case of determining temporary disability (IT). It details that these are caused by common or occupational diseases and accidents and prevent workers from performing their jobs. It details that the maximum period for these is 365 days, which can be extended by a further 180 days.

What is the use of the Best Time Manual? The document was re-published for the fourth and final time in 2018 and has been confirmed by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Protection and Immigration to still be valid and essentially guides health staff in the following situations:

  • Mentoring Primary Care Physicians. The manual enables doctors to understand the optimal duration of each sick leave based on the patient’s diagnosis, occupation, gender and age.
  • casualty tracking. With this manual, medical examiners can choose the best time to conduct physical examinations during sick leave, as well as call workers in for physical examinations.
  • IT management applications. It is also intended to be a tool that can be incorporated into computer applications in health management services to digitally analyze patient discharges, according to the manual.


Best Temporary Disability Time Manual

Royal Legislative Decree No. 8/2015 of October 30, approving the consolidated text of the General Social Security Act.

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