Ukraine to abolish paid sick leave, replace with additional leave for employees

22 December 2022, 03:58 PM
Paid sick leave in 2023 - what may change (Photo:Pixabay.com)

Paid sick leave in 2023 - what may change (Photo:Pixabay.com)

The Ministry of Social Policy and related ministries are preparing proposals to replace sick leave with additional leave for employees, the ministry’s press service said in response to enquiries from the legal system newspaper Sudovo-Yurydychna Hazeta.

The ministry said options to replace the traditional sick leave in early 2023 are being discussed.

The changes are required by bill No. 3663 on amendments to the Law of Ukraine on Compulsory State Social Insurance and other legislative acts of Ukraine, which has been adopted by the parliament and which comes into force on Jan. 1, 2023.

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The Cabinet has allowed interested ministries and authorities to submit their proposals by Feb. 1, 2023.

Paragraph 2 of Article 15 of the updated Law on Compulsory State Social Insurance states that temporary disability benefits in the cases specified in the first part of the article are paid by the authorized management body to insured persons from the sixth day of disability.

Benefits are to be paid for the entire period until a person can work again, or until they are declared disabled by the medical and social expert commission (MSEC) (establishment of another group, confirmation of a previously established disability group), regardless of dismissal, termination of employment, or termination of the contract.

The first five days of disability are paid for by the employer.

Cancellation of sick leave: what will not happen

In response to a request, the Ministry of Social Policy clarified that the following options for change have been ruled out:

  • Replacement pf paid sick leave with health insurance coverage at the expense of employees;
  • complete cancellation of the payment of temporary disability benefits at the expense of compulsory state social insurance;
  • increasing the period of payment of sick days by employers;
  • limiting the duration of paid leave at the expense of the employer instead of temporary disability payments.

When payments for temporary disability are made

According to the law, paragraph 1 of Article 15 lists the cases when a temporarily disabled person is partially or fully compensated for wages (income). The cases are:

  • temporary disability due to an illness or injury not related to an accident at work, as well as temporary disability for the period of rehabilitation due to an illness or injury not related to an accident at work;
  • care for a sick child;
  • care for a sick family member;
  • caring for a child under the age of three or a child with a disability under the age of 18 in case of illness of the mother or other person caring for this child;
  • care for a child under the age of 14 or a child with a disability under the age of 18 for the entire period of rehabilitation care, if there is a medical report on the need for third-party care for the child;
  • quarantine established by the authorized bodies in accordance with the law;
  • stay in a healthcare institution, self-isolation under medical supervision in connection with measures aimed at preventing the occurrence and spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as well as localization and elimination of its outbreaks and epidemics;
  • temporary transfer of the insured person in accordance with a medical report to a lighter, lower-paid job;
  • provision of rehabilitation care for prosthetics and orthotics in inpatient conditions in rehabilitation institutions, rehabilitation departments, units of health care institutions.

In September 2022, the Verkhovna Rada adopted Bill No. 3663 on amendments to the Law of Ukraine On Compulsory State Social Insurance (new version) and other legislative acts of Ukraine.

Among other changes, the draft law provides for the termination of the Social Insurance Fund from Jan. 1, 2023. Now, sick leave will be paid by the Pension Fund instead of the Social Insurance Fund.

The Pension Fund has already been assigning and paying subsidies for Ukrainians since Dec. 1.

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