L4 in electronic form - worth knowing


From December 1, 2018, it is not necessary for a sick employee to deliver a sick leave to the workplace. Doctors issue electronic medical certificates (L4) called e-ZLA. The introduction of on-line exemptions is a significant facilitation for sick people who had to provide such a document to the employer within 7 days of being issued, and their health condition did not allow it. In this case, employees often asked for help from a relative or members of their family. E-zla is also a significant facilitation for employers and the Social Insurance Institution, primarily in terms of faster inspections or more efficient settlements between the employee and the employer.

New electronic exemptions

Temporary inability to work due to illness of an employee imposes on him an obligation to provide a sick leave (L4) for the time of illness. During this time, the employee is released from the obligation to perform work. As a result of the changes, electronic L4 issued by a doctor became the document confirming temporary incapacity to work due to illness. The whole process is aimed at improving the flow of documents between the employee, employer and the Social Insurance Institution. E-dismissal is also more difficult to fake, so the potential for fraud will be reduced. The employer almost immediately has the possibility to apply to the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) for an inspection of the correctness of the issue of this exemption.

However, in order for the employer to have access to electronic exemptions, he must set up an information profile. It is an obligation for payers with more than 5 employees.

Employer obligations regarding the issuance of e-leave

A contribution payer reporting more than 5 insured persons should set up an information profile of the payer in order to be able to receive electronic medical leaves of employees. The profile is always created for a natural person. It is created online and free of charge using the system provided by ZUS - Electronic Services Platform. However, to use it, the payer must be the holder of the so-called trusted profile. It will have to maintain it even when there is no longer an obligation to send electronic documents (e.g. due to employment reduction).

Companies that apply to insurance for more than 5 people should have an information profile at ZUS. In a situation where the employer does not create a profile, he will not have access to electronic sick leaves. Also payers settling contributions for no more than 5 people may set up an information profile, but in this case voluntarily. Then they will receive electronic exemptions issued to their insured persons. If they do not decide to do so, such employers will receive an electronic L4 printout, which the employee will have to deliver to them within 7 days from the date of issue.

How is electronic L4 issued?

According to the assumption, doctors have free access to information collected on the accounts of insured persons and contribution payers, to the extent necessary, in order to issue a medical certificate of incapacity for work due to illness or care for a family member. A medical certificate is issued in the form of an electronic document authenticated with the use of a qualified certificate or a trusted ePUAP profile. Both ZUS and the employer receive information about the sick leave sent by e-mail. After issuing this so-called e-exemptions (electronic version L4), the doctor will transfer them to the electronic inbox of the Social Insurance Institution, which will make them available free of charge to the contribution payer on his information profile, no later than on the day following the day of receipt of the medical certificate. Electronic sick leave is treated in exactly the same way as its paper version.

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Better sick leave control

The introduced changes have shortened the practice of abusing sick leaves by employees. As a result, the effectiveness of the control of the correct use of sick leaves, especially short-term ones, carried out by the Social Insurance Institution, increased. Until now, the regulations allowed for the delivery of L4 within 7 days of issuance, which made it impossible to inspect persons on such an exemption. The waiting period for the payment of benefits from ZUS will also shorten.

Authorization to collect e-ZLA

It is also worth mentioning that if the employer is a contribution payer - a natural person, he may set up a profile for himself or grant a power of attorney to another natural person. In this case, the profile may be created for the payer - a natural person and a proxy (natural person) or only for a proxy.

However, if the employer is a contribution payer - a legal person or an organizational unit without legal personality, it may grant a power of attorney to a natural person, e.g. its employee. In this case, a natural person (employee) will have access to the role of a contribution payer at the same time.