Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sick Notes

It's never fun getting sick.  Here's what one can expect if it happens here in Czechland.

Let's assume that you have Czech health insurance and you go to the doctor.  If you are too sick to work then the doctor will issue a sick note so that you can stay home.  This note must be delivered to your employer within 3 working days.

The sick note is actually a several page form and each page has a different coloured stripe.

Part II is the Rozhodnutí o yzniku docasné pracovní - the yellow stripe.  This is the illness card and you have to keep it for the duration of your illness.  At the end of your illness you give this back to the doctor.

Part III is Hlášení zamestnavateli o vzniku docasné pracovní neschopnosti - the blue stripe.  This is the page that you have to give to your employer within 3 working days from the beginning of your illness.

Part IV is Rozhodnutí o vzniku docasné pracovní neschopnosti pro uplatnení nároku na nemocenské - the pink stripe.  This page is only used if the illness is longer than 14 days.  The backside of the form is signed by the patient and it needs to contain your bank account number.

Part V is Rozhodnutí o ukoncení docasné pracovní neschopnosti - also a pink stripe.  This is the form that you have to deliver to your employer at the end of your illness.  The patient has to sign the backside.

There's also a part of the pink form that you have to submit when your illness continues from one month to the next month.

As per Czech law, you don't get paid for the first three days that you are sick.  From day 4 to day 14, the employer pays 60% of the salary.  The state does not contribute any money.

From day 15, the employer no longer pays anything.  Instead the Czech government pays the 60% salary.  This is why part IV of the form is so important because if you don't deliver the forms on time then the state may not be able to deposit the partial salary to your bank account on time.

If you are home sick then you are expected to be at home.  On part II of the form, the doctor will provide some time that you can be out in public.  For example, so you can go to the market for groceries.  Perhaps from 9 am to Noon, and again from 2 pm to 5 pm.

The employer is entitled to check if the employee on sick leave is actually home sick when they are supposed to be.  The employer can contact the municipal social security administration and both parties will come knock on your door.  If you're supposed to be home sick and you're away then you can be fined.  I'm not sure what the amount of the fine is.  I suppose it depends on how long a person has been on sick leave for.

One of the very cool things about IBM here in Czechland is that the company supplements the 60% salary payment required by law.  For high level positions, IBM actually pays 90% salary for days 4 - 60.  Then for all employees, they pay 75% salary for days 61 - 120.

Update:  Here's a bit more I've learned about sick notes.
* The sick note literally states your inability to work.  So from the moment it is issued, you are not allowed to work, either in the office or at home.  If you start to work before the sick leave is finished then you are not entitled to be paid for the hours worked.
*The doctor can start the sick leave for up to two days prior.
*The doctor can provide for up to a maximum of six hours per day of free time.  This can be either six hours in a row or broken up in to two blocks of free time.  You can only leave the house during the free hours or if you have a doctor's appointment.
*If you will be somewhere else, say your parents' house for the weekend, then you have to let your doctor know in advance, so that he or she can update the address for your sick note.  Social security employees can check if the patient is at home (according to the address on the sick note).

Update:  In July 2019, the first three days are now paid.
Update:  In 2020, not sure if before or after Covid, but now the doctor's sick note is sent electronically to your employer.  So no need to keep up with which form goes where.

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