Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced changes to sickness benefits. ZUS, not the employer, is to pay for L4 from day one. The changes were commented on by the president of ZUS, Gertruda Uścińska.
- What is sickness benefit?
- Sick pay will be paid by ZUS, not the employer
- What does this mean for employees?
- What does this mean for the state?
A big change is coming to sick leave. During the election campaign, Donald Tusk promised that after winning the elections he would introduce changes to L4 that would ease the burden on employers. As announced, sickness benefit would be paid by the Social Insurance Institution, not the employer, from the first day of sick leave. The government has already started work on this project.
What is sickness benefit?
Sickness benefit is due to every insured person employed under an employment contract or mandate contract who is unable to work due to illness. It can be obtained on the basis of a sick leave. It amounts to 80 percent of the salary.
Sick pay will be paid by ZUS, not the employer
Until now, the employer paid for each person insured and employed under an employment or mandate contract for the first 33 days of illness (or 14 in the case of people over 50 years of age). The company then paid sick pay to the employee on sick leave. Only from the 34th day of L4 the obligation to pay remuneration was transferred to ZUS and then the sick pay was changed into sickness benefit.
The new government plans to introduce changes in this matter so that benefits will be paid by ZUS from the first day of illness. This is expected to be a great relief for workplaces that have so far had to bear the costs of employee absence. “We assume that ZUS should pay for it from day one, but this obviously has very serious financial consequences,” admitted Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
What does this mean for employees?
This change will not be significant for employees. Experts wonder whether it will lead to a reduction in the number of ZUS inspections, because employers will no longer have the incentive to check whether employees are not faking illness.
What does this mean for the state?
Releasing employers from the financial obligation and transferring it to ZUS will cost a lot, and the budget is already very tight. For now, it is not known that Donald Tusk’s government wants to apply the changes to all entrepreneurs or only small and medium-sized ones.
President of the Social Insurance Institution prof. Gertruda Uścińska admitted that she was not afraid that changes in the regulations would constitute an additional burden for ZUS. “During the year, we will gradually start paying benefits to people employed in smaller companies. After the changes, this would happen immediately. In turn, larger companies would reduce the contributions due by the cost of benefits paid from the beginning of the year, and not only from the 34th day of the employee’s absence. However, the cost of such a solution may be a problem, which we estimate at approximately PLN 13.5 billion this year,” she said in an interview with Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.