Sick Leave Certificates. What Has Changed?

On December 8, 2010, Federal Law No. 343_FZ "On Amending the Federal Law “On Compulsory Social Insurance in Cases of Temporary Disability and Maternity” was passed. Let’s see what has changed and what to do?

This law amends Federal Law of December 29, 2006 No. 255VFZ "On Compulsory Social Insurance in Cases of Temporary Disability and Maternity". It regulates legal relations in the system of compulsory social insurance in cases of temporary disability and maternity, defines the list of persons subject to compulsory social insurance in cases of temporary disability and maternity, and types of compulsory insurance benefits provided to them. Besides that, it establishes rights and obligations of the subjects of compulsory social insurance in cases of temporary disability and maternity, and determines terms, amounts and procedures for temporary disability benefit, maternity benefit and a monthly childcare benefit of citizens subject to compulsory social insurance in cases of temporary disability and maternity. These amendments came into force on January 1, 2011, so from that day all the accountants in Russia have to accrue benefits for temporary disability and maternity in new ways.

Benefit for temporary disability is paid as follows: the first three days of temporary disability - at the expense of the insuring party, and the rest of the period, starting from the fourth day of temporary disability - from the budget of the Social Insurance Fund of the Russian Federation (in 2010, 2 days were at the employer’s expense), except the following cases: the need to care for a sick family member, quarantine of the insured person and quarantine of a child under 7 years old attending pre-school educational institution, or another family member recognized in the prescribed manner as incapacitated; prosthetics on medical authority in specialized in-patient hospital; follow-up medical treatment in the prescribed manner in sanatoria and health resorts located on the territory of Russia, immediately after hospital treatment. In the above cases, the benefit is fully paid by SIF. Insurers (organizations and private entrepreneurs) are required on the day of termination of employment or upon written request after termination of employment (no later than three working days from the date of this application) to provide the employee with a statement of his/her amount of earnings on which insurance premiums were accrued for two preceding calendar years and for the current calendar year. The federal law provides for responsibility for giving false information (compensation for damages). For calculation of a benefit, the employee can provide the accounting department with the statement itself, and a copy of the statement of earnings certified in the prescribed manner. If for any reason the employee can not provide documents for the benefit, the organization (PI) at the request of the employee shall send a request to the territorial office of the Pension Fund of Russia on presentation of information on wages and other payments based on information of the individual (personalized) record keeping in the system of compulsory pension insurance. Form and procedure for sending such requests are approved by Health Ministry of Russia. Calculation of average earnings shall be done for two calendar years, that is, in 2011, years 2010 and 2009 are taken into account. An exception is women who in the stated period were on maternity or childcare leave: they may replace this period for the preceding year or years. Changes were also made to the composition of payments included in the calculation of average earnings: taken into account are all the payments on which insurance premiums were accrued. The amount of earnings included in the calculation may not exceed the maximum amount (for 2009 and 2010 - 415,000 rubles) for each year, that is, you cannot just add up wages for two years and compare it with 415,000 rubles. * 2. Average daily wages is obtained by dividing wages for 2 years by 730. There are several ways to calculate temporary disability benefits. If the employee is currently working for several employers, and in 2009-2010 he/she worked for them as well, temporary disability benefit and maternity benefit are awarded to paid at all places of employment. If an employee is currently working for several employers, and in the two preceding calendar years worked in other organizations (PI), the benefit is paid at one of the latest places of work at the employee’s choice. In this case, the employee shall also provide a statement (statements) from another (other) jobs that this insured party (these insured parties) have not awarded and is not paying benefits. The sum of wages for each year is added up for all places of work and is limited by 415,000 rubles. Temporary disability benefit and maternity benefit are calculated from the minimum monthly wage (4,300 rubles), if in the two preceding calendar years there were no wages or the average monthly wage was less than the minimum wage. In case of part-time work, average earnings in the above cases shall be determined in proportion to the duration of time at work. For example, if an employee works part-time, the benefit shall be calculated on the assumption of 0.5 of the minimum monthly wage. If at the time of accrual of benefits the employee does not have appropriate statements on wages, the benefit is calculated on the basis of available documents. After providing relevant documents, the benefit is recalculated for the entire past time, but no more than three years preceding the date of submission of a statement (statements) on the amount of earnings. Temporary disability benefit in case of disability due to illness or injury is payable to the insured persons in the amount of 60% of average earnings in the event of illness or injury occurring within 30 calendar days after the termination of work under an employment agreement, business or other activities, during which they are subject to compulsory social insurance. Unfortunately, these changes have added work to accountants, but did not improve and, in some cases, even worsened the position of workers and employers. The employee can bring to the employer statements from other jobs, the employer at its own expense shall pay a larger sum of the benefit for the first three days of the employee’s illness (last year, they paid for 2 days and on the basis of wages accrued at the enterprise). Affected will be those employees who worked for several companies, but at the time of illness work for one or other organizations. Before, employers accrued contributions until the employee's salary is 415,000 rubles. And now, when applying to one employer for accrual of benefits, the employee’s salary will be limited to that amount in all places of employment in aggregate. Most affected are women with no salary in the previous two years: those who were students, were on a childcare leave, sick leaves (were ill themselves or were staying home with sick children), etc. Temporary disability benefits and maternity benefit in such cases will be small. And even the amendment providing for the possibility to replace a year for benefits calculation to many will not remedy the situation. The amount of a temporary disability benefit has not changed and is paid in the following amounts: to the insured person who has been insured for 8 or more years - 100% of average earnings; the insured person who has been insured 5 to 8 years - 80% of average earnings; and the insured person who has been insured for up to 5 years - 60% of average earnings.

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