Current Law on Health Insurance (Official Gazette of RS no. 25/2019) has been applied since 11 April 2019. The Government of the Republic of Serbia prepared the amendments to this law which are currently in public debate, after which they will enter parliamentary procedure. The draft law stipulates several significant novelties that we will present in this article. If it is adopted, the application of the draft law amending the Law on Health Insurance (“the Law”) will start on 1 June 2021.
Changes in submission of notification on temporary inability to work
Currently, an employee or in case of severe illness – members of immediate family or other persons living in the same household, shall be obliged to submit to the employer notification from the selected physician containing the anticipated duration of inability to work, no later than three days after the onset of temporary inability to work.
However, the information on temporary inability to work will from now on be sent to the employer electronically and directly by the selected physician.
This is a significant novelty considering that the obligation to provide certificate by the employee has been regulated since 2001 under the Labour Law (Official Gazette of RS no. 70/2001 and 73/2001 – amend.), and subsequently by the Labour Law (Official Gazette of RS no. 24/05, 61/05, 54/09, 32/13, 75/14, 13/17 – CC, 113/17 and 95/18 – other regulation).
On the day the Law starts to apply, the provisions of the Labour law on notification about temporary inability to work shall cease to be valid, as well as related breach of working discipline – failure to submit the notification on temporary inability to work (Art. 103. and 179, para. 3, item 2).
Calculation of salary compensation will no longer be done by employers
Significant novelty has also been envisaged with regard to calculation of salary compensation paid via employer by the Republic Fund for Health Insurance (“RFZO”).
Namely, this calculation will no longer be done by employers but by RFZO, which used to control calculations, hence the new legal solution avoids double calculation.
RFZO will make calculations on basis of information on paid taxes and contributions that it will receive officially from Tax Administration. RFZO will pay salary contributions to employers within 15 days after the calculation, which is a shorter period compared to the current solution (30 days).
Payment of salary compensation to pregnant women whether health insurance contribution was paid or not
The law stipulates that insured persons in case of temporary inability to work due to illness or complications relating to pregnancy will exercise [all] rights from mandatory health insurance regardless of whether the due contribution was paid, including the right to salary compensation due to temporary inability to work.
According to the current solution, when due health insurance contributions were not paid, an insured person may only exercise only the right to health protection and right to compensation of transportation costs with regard to the use of health protection, under the Law on Health Protection.
Change with regard to institution of procedure for establishing the loss of working ability
In a situation where an insured person has been temporarily unable to work due to illness or injury and when conditions have been met for his/her working ability to be assessed by disability commission, the request to disability commission shall be submitted by the selected physician electronically, with the consent of the insured person.
According to the current legal solution, this request was submitted by the insured person or, in case of severe illness – members of immediate family or other persons living in the same household.
Change of base for calculating salary compensation
According to the current solution, the base for salary compensation that is paid from the funds for mandatory health insurance shall comprise of average salary earned by the insured person in the period of 12 months preceding the month of onset of the temporary inability to work.
However, the base will now include salary compensation earned by the insured person in the reference period as well.
Deletion of the provision on protection of employer’s rights
Article 165, para. 2 of the law prescribing that protection of rights before the relevant authority can also be sought by employer shall be deleted.
However, this does not mean that employers will lose the possibility to use relevant remedies under this law. On the contrary, Article 156 (Renewal of the procedure for assessment of temporary inability to work) and Article 157 (Expert opinion in the procedure for exercising the rights from mandatory health insurance) which regulate the authorisations of employers, shall remain in force and unchanged. Article 165, par. 2. of the law shall be deleted as obsolete.
This article is to be considered as exclusively informative, with no intention to provide legal advice. If you should need additional information, please contact us directly.
By Ivana Ruzicic, Managing Partner, PR Legal