Learn more about sick leave and stress
Go to FAQ
If you are suffering from stress, a sick leave may be necessary. You can read about your rights and duties during the sick leave in our FAQ.
On this page you can find answers to the most important questions about stress.
Having a busy life is not the same as being stressed, but if you've been under pressure for too long, your body may start to react.
Stress is the body's natural response to being overloaded and it is not dangerous for a short period of time. In fact, short-term stress helps us perform better by increasing concentration, among other things.
But prolonged stress can have serious health consequences. Stress is not a disease in itself, but it can cause serious symptoms and lead to both physical and mental illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and depression, and can exacerbate chronic conditions.
Having a stressful work situation for a long time can also lead to burnout, which is similar to depression. Burnout is characterized as a feeling of physical and mental exhaustion and loss of interest in your work and your surroundings.
Then you can contact IDA's Legal Department by creating a case on the IDA website. You will then be contacted by one of IDA's legal advisors.
Stress often sneaks up on you because the symptoms gradually get worse. They can be physical, mental and behavioural, and the severity and duration of symptoms of stress vary greatly from person to person.
So this is not a definitive checklist for stress, but if you notice any of these symptoms, you should take them seriously:
Stress can be hard to talk about. Not being able to handle your usual tasks can feel like a failure. Recognition is the first step to understanding that you need help, so it's important to listen to your colleagues, family, and friends if they are concerned about you, as typically those around you will respond to your change in behaviour more quickly than you will.
If you have a good relationship with your manager, you should start by talking to him or her if you feel overloaded or experience symptoms of stress.
You can also contact IDA or your GP if you are not comfortable talking to your manager. When you talk to your GP, you should tell them about all the symptoms you are experiencing, especially those that are affecting your ability to work. Based on your conversation, the doctor can assess whether you need sick leave or whether you need to take other steps to reduce your symptoms of stress.
It is also important that you tell people you know — such as family and friends — about your situation. Stress is difficult to deal with because it affects your cognitive functions and makes everything more overwhelming. That's why it can be very helpful to get support from your family and friends, so that they can also help you structure your everyday life and seek professional help so that your symptoms don't get worse.
There can be several causes of stress — both in the workplace and in private life. If you feel that your work tasks or your own or other people's expectations to you are too demanding, you should talk to your manager and get help to prioritise your work. If your manager does not respond to the fact that you feel stressed or overloaded, you should contact your union representative, health and safety representative, or IDA.
In your personal life, you can do a number of things to prevent stress, but healthy eating and meditation are not enough on their own if you are in a highly stressful work environment or life situation. However, it is always a good idea to prioritise your health by adopting healthy habits:
Do you have emerging stress symptoms, or would you like to prevent stress? Get our free booklet on preventing and dealing with stress. It contains concrete tools for understanding, preventing, and dealing with stress in your daily life.
In principle, it is up to your GP to assess whether you should take sick leave or not if you experience stress. The sick leave can be either part-time or full-time, depending on the severity of your symptoms. When talking to your doctor, you should talk about all your symptoms of stress, and especially those that affect your ability to work the most.
If your employer wants proof that you cannot work because of your stress symptoms, they can ask for a sick note (medical certificate). Your employer will have to pay for the sick note, so you will have to pass on the bill from your doctor to your employer. When your employer asks for a sick note, it is a good idea to get their request in writing in case there is a dispute later about who should pay.
If your doctor recommends that you take sick leave if you experience stress, you should follow your workplace's rules for reporting sick. You can typically find the rules in your employer's staff handbook.
If you are self-employed, you can get sickness benefits from your local municipality if you are on sick leave due to stress.
If you are both employed and self-employed, you can get assistance from IDA's legal department.
If you are employed as a salaried employee and on sick leave with stress, you are entitled to pay even if you do not work because you are sick.