Have a staff member on long-term sick leave? What should you do? - AG Employee Benefits

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Employer takes the right steps when an employee is off on occupational incapacity

Published on 28/11/2019

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Occupational incapacity: do you know what to do?

 

It's clear that we are falling into a black hole: never before have there been so many long-term sick leave cases. But do you know what to do when you have a staff member on long-term occupational incapacity leave? Time for a practical overview.

Every business day, seven out of every 100 employees are absent from the workplace, including five of them for over one month1. Disconcerting figures. Even so, many employers don't know what to do to guide or help a staff member who is unable to work due to an illness or accident. Fortunately, with a comprehensive employee benefits plan, you can help get your employee back to work safely and successfully.


 

Activate your income protection insurance as soon you find out about the occupational incapacity


In the first month of incapacity for work, you will simply pay your staff member's salary as usual. From the second month onwards, you stop paying your staff member a salary and s/he will collect statutory incapacity benefits amounting to 60% of his gross salary via the social security system, subject to a gross monthly salary cap of EUR 3,705. With income protection insurance, you can top up these limited benefits.

Do you have Income Care, AG's income protection plan? If so, the financial safety net can be activated in two ways:

Your staff member can do this himself via My Global Benefits
As an employer, you can take the initiative to report the incapacity for work. Just send us the claim notification form and the medical certificate via e-mail.

A large proportion of long-term sick leave cases are due to stress-related conditions such as burnout. Did you know that Income Care income protection insurance provides individually-tailored support and guidance for such cases, at no additional cost?

 
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Your staff members' group hospitalisation coverage will remain intact throughout incapacity leave


All the more reason why it's important to have a good hospital plan in place in the event of incapacity for work. The average out-of-pocket cost of medical treatment and supplemental services in the first year amounts on average EUR 1,500².

If you have set up a Hospicare Flexible hospital plan for your staff members, then they have nothing to worry about. While they are unable to work due to an illness or accident, your staff members will remain enrolled in the plan and therefore entitled to the covers provided.


 

What about their supplementary pension and death benefit coverage?


Once you are no longer paying out a salary to a staff member on occupational incapacity or disability leave​, contributions to the group insurance plan will cease along with entitlement to the covers. In other words, no further contributions will be made to the supplementary pension and no death benefit coverage can be claimed.

But if you offer waiver of premiums coverage, you'll give your staff members peace of mind. This coverage will credit premiums to the group insurance plan, which means that the same supplementary pension and death benefit coverage will continue to apply.


Have questions, or interested in additional advice about our Employee Benefits solutions?

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1 Securex (2019) Absenteeism in 2018
2  MLOZ (2019) research on occupational incapacity