Changes in the sickness benefits of entrepreneurs

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In 2015, the government adopted changes to entrepreneurs' sickness benefits, which were proposed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. The adopted amendments result from the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal in May 2012. Check what the changes in the sickness benefits of entrepreneurs concerned.

What are the changes in the sickness benefits of entrepreneurs

The changes concern the method of calculating sickness and maternity benefits for entrepreneurs, so that they are similar to those that apply to employees employed on the basis of an employment contract. The amended act also contains a provision regarding the introduction of solutions to reduce abuses when paying sickness benefits for self-employed persons.

Changes in entrepreneurs' sickness benefits

Changes in the sickness benefits of entrepreneurs apply to people who run a business and are incapable of work. The discussed incapacity for work of the entrepreneur started before the expiry of the full calendar month of insurance due to the conducted business activity, and the insurance period itself commenced up to 30 days from the termination of insurance for another title (for example, a full-time job). According to the new regulations, the allowance calculation basis is the full declared amount, which has no reference to the days actually worked in a given month. Previously, the value of the declared amount reduced in proportion to the days actually worked in a month was used as the basis. As a result of these principles, there was a situation where the benefit received by the entrepreneur was calculated according to less favorable principles than in the case of an employee.

The amendment also changed the rules for determining the amount of the allowance for entrepreneurs and people who cooperate with them. The changes adopted by the government cover the case where the entrepreneur has been subject to sickness insurance for less than twelve months and throughout that period has regularly paid premiums on a basis above the minimum.

The method of calculating the allowance for the entrepreneur after the changes

According to the currently applicable regulations, the calculation of the allowance for entrepreneurs depends on the period for which the entrepreneur pays the sickness insurance contribution and its amount. In order to receive the allowance at the maximum level, you must pay ZUS contributions for at least one year, also on the maximum basis of contributions. In the case of an insured person whose calculation basis for sickness insurance contributions is the declared amount, who is subject to sickness insurance for less than 12 calendar months, the benefit calculation basis is the sum of:

a) the average monthly lowest calculation basis for sickness insurance, after deducting the amount corresponding to 13.71% of the calculation basis for sickness insurance contributions for full calendar months of insurance, the income from which is included in the calculation of the allowance, and

b) an amount equal to the product of one twelfth of the average amount declared as the basis for the calculation of sickness insurance contributions, in the part exceeding the lowest calculation basis for sickness insurance contributions, after deduction of 13.71%, for full calendar months of insurance, the income from which is included in the calculation basis allowance, and the number of months.

Purpose of the changes made to the Benefit Act

Introducing such changes, the applicants had the main goal: to curtail the amount of fraud. The abuses were directly related to the situation in which a short period of insurance and a high basis for the assessment of contributions made it possible, through a regulatory gap, to pay high sickness insurance benefits. Changes in entrepreneurs' sickness benefits are to heal this situation.