Wages and quarantine allowance
From March 20, 2020, there is an epidemic in Poland related to the spread of COVID-19. Quarantine is obligatory for persons who crossed the border and are currently in Poland. Those who have had direct contact with people who have been diagnosed with coronavirus may also be referred to home quarantine. What can isolated people count on? Once they meet the relevant conditions, they can apply for sick pay or quarantine benefit - see this article for more information.
What is quarantine and who may be affected by it?
Home quarantine is a way to reduce the spread of dangerous pathogens. It is used as a preventive measure. In practice, this means that a person who does not show signs of disease, but is potentially suspected of being a carrier of a given pathogen, is temporarily obliged not to leave his / her home for isolation.
As a rule, quarantine lasts 10 days. However, in some cases this period is longer.
According to the applicable regulations, compulsory quarantine covers:
- people who have been referred for the SARS-CoV-2 virus test and lasts from the day the test was sent until the test result is negative (negative automatically exempts from undergoing mandatory quarantine),
- people who had close contact with an infected person - for 10 days from the day following the contact,
- people living with an infected (isolated) person - from the day the infected person (subjected to isolation) obtained a positive test result until 7 days after the end of isolation of the infected person,
- selected categories of foreigners who cross the border of the Republic of Poland, which is the external border of the EU - for 10 days, counting from the day following the day of crossing the border.
However, mandatory quarantine does not apply to:
- people living in or running a shared household with a person in quarantine,
- people living in or running a common household with the person referred for the test - while waiting for the test result by that person;
- people who have ended hospitalization, isolation or isolation at home due to confirmation of coronavirus infection,
- persons participating in the provision of healthcare services to persons suffering from disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, provided that an antigen test is performed daily, before participation in the provision of these services, for at least 7 days after contact with a source of biological pathogens,
- fully vaccinated people.
Failure to comply with the quarantine is punishable by a fine of up to PLN 30,000.
Obligation to notify the employer of the quarantine
Both the employee returning from abroad and the one who was quarantined by the sanitary inspector's decision, are obliged to inform their employer about the need to stay in isolation. However, this information will also be available at PUE ZUS. Start a free 30-day trial period with no strings attached!
The basis for the payment of benefits for the period of quarantine
Not all those in compulsory quarantine are eligible for this benefit. Only people registered for sickness insurance may receive remuneration or allowance for the period of quarantine. Until now, the basis for the payment of these benefits was the decision of the state sanitary inspector or the employee's declaration. An employee with sickness insurance, but voluntarily undergoing home quarantine, is not entitled to benefits in this respect.
Currently, ZUS will independently obtain relevant data from the IT system of the e-Health Center (EWP system), in which information about the obligation to quarantine and isolate is stored. ZUS provides data on quarantine and isolation to employers and entrepreneurs on the PUE ZUS Platform. Based on this information, contribution payers will be able to pay sickness benefits to employees.
Employee's wage or quarantine allowance
Employees and other persons providing their services to the employer, who are also covered by sickness insurance, have the right to receive sick pay or sickness benefit for the period of quarantine due to the inability to perform work of a paid nature.
If the quarantine period is included in the first 33 or 14 days (in the case of people over 50) of the sickness period in a given calendar year, a given person will be entitled to sick pay paid and financed by the employer for the period of incapacity for work.
If the period of incapacity for work exceeds the limits described above, the employee is entitled to a quarantine benefit.
Find out more about salary and sickness benefit:
- How to calculate sick pay?
- The sickness allowance calculation basis - how is it determined? (part I)
- New basis for the calculation of sickness benefit - when we determine
Importantly, if the quarantine allowance is paid by ZUS, the contribution payer, i.e. the employer, is obliged to submit the insured person's declaration to ZUS as soon as possible (maximum 7 days).
The statement may be submitted electronically via the ZUS PUE portal by attaching a scan or photo of the statement (certified as a true copy) to the Z-3 or Z-3a certificate.
Entrepreneur quarantine allowance
An entrepreneur who pays for voluntary sickness insurance, as well as a person cooperating with the entrepreneur (after going through the waiting period) has the right to apply to ZUS for an allowance for the quarantine period.
The basis for the payment of the allowance for the quarantine period of the entrepreneur or a cooperating person is the submission of a declaration of incapacity to work with ZUS. This declaration may be delivered to ZUS in electronic form using the ZUS PUE portal. In this case, complete the application on form ZAS-53.
As a rule, an entrepreneur who has not received a decision from the Social Insurance Institution or a benefit transfer cannot be sure whether the benefit will be granted to him. Therefore, it is safest, until the allowance for the quarantine period is granted, for the entrepreneur to pay ZUS contributions as if he were not entitled to the allowance, i.e. in the standard amount. After granting the benefit, the entrepreneur may make adjustments to the DRA declaration in order to recognize the sickness benefit for a given period. Only basic contributions paid by the entrepreneur are reduced for the period of illness. If social security contributions are paid on the basis of the individual contribution assessment base, then when correcting the DRA declaration, they cannot be proportionally reduced for the period of incapacity for work. Both insured persons providing work for their employers as well as entrepreneurs themselves and cooperating persons have the right to apply for remuneration or allowance for the quarantine period - assuming, of course, that they are registered for sickness insurance. The basis for applying for these benefits is submitting to the employer or ZUS a declaration on quarantine or a decision of the state sanitary inspector. The amount of the benefit depends on the individually calculated sickness benefit basis.