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Changes concerning sick-leave benefits in 2018

Large-scale changes ahead in 2018 for the sick-leave insurance framework, with consequences both for employees and businesses.

The sick-leave insurance system will change substantially in 2018. These changes include not only new types of sick-leave benefits such as a paternal allowance or a long-term caretaker benefit. The various amounts of sick-leave benefits will also be adjusted, and sick persons who draw them face new obligations. The changes affecting the sick-leave insurance system are embodied in a number of separate amendments which come into force on a staggered schedule with rather lengthy intervals, upon being promulgated in the Collection of Laws. Because of this, many insured persons are confused as to which changes will apply as of what date. In what follows, we provide a brief summary.

Increase of sick-leave benefits – effective as of 01/01/2018

  • As of the 31st calendar day of one's temporary work incapacity or quarantine, the rate of the sick-leave allowance rises to 66 % of the daily assessment base, 
  • As of the 61st calendar day of one's temporary work incapacity or quarantine, the rate of the sick-leave allowance rises to 72 % of the daily assessment base.

Postnatal allowance for fathers – effective as of 02/01/2018 

  • Eligible are fathers who take care of their child or persons who accepted a child into foster care,
  • The starting date for drawing this benefit may be picked by the insured person, from within 6 weeks from the child's birth date (or from the date on which it was accepted into foster care, provided that it is not yet seven years old),
  • The amount of this benefit is 70% of the daily assessment base, 
  • Claims may be filed by fathers of children who were born (or who were accepted into care) on or after 21 December 2017.

Long-term caretaker benefits – effective as of 06/01/2018

  • The claim for this benefit is conditional upon a serious deterioration of the dependent's health requiring seven or more days of hospitalization, whereas confirmation is being issued upon discharge from the hospital to the effect that the dependent will require at least 30 additional days of full-time care,
  • During the relevant period, the caretaker must not be engaged in any gainful occupation,
  • The amount of this benefit is 60% of the reduced daily assessment base,
  • The claim for long-term caretaker benefits arises no sooner than upon the passage of 12 months from the end of the preceding case of long-term care,
  • Employers may only refuse to grant leave to the caretaker for serious operational reasons.

Child-raising allowance

  • - For this claim to come into existence, the beneficiary must have been participating in the sick-leave insurance scheme for at least 270 days over the past two years (or, in the case of a self-employed professional, for at least 180 calendar days during the past year),
  • The amount of this benefit is 70% of the daily assessment base, 
  • As of the beginning of the 7th week from the delivery date, the mother may take turns in caring for the child with her husband or with the father of the child, based on a written agreement. In the case of such alternate care, payments of the child-raising allowance to the mother will cease and the payments to the male partner will begin, based on his own sick-leave insurance, whereas he needs to separately fulfil the eligibility criteria, and vice versa. Another requirement is that the male partner must look after the child on at least 7 consecutive calendar days.

Source: Czech Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Act No. 148/2017 Coll.

 

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