e-ZLA – electronic medical certificates
Tax Alert 21/2015
14 December 2015
New regulations concerning the principles of issuing and serving medical certificates of temporary inability to work due to illness to employers/payers of social insurance premiums will come into force as of 1 January 2016. In accordance with the new regulations, physicians will be able to issue medical certificates of temporary inability to work due to illness in an electronic form (e-ZLA).
Electronic sick leaves – new regulations
In accordance with the new regulations, physicians will be able to issue medical certificates of temporary inability to work due to illness in an electronic form (e-ZLA).
Doctors willing to issue an e-ZLA will be obliged to send it to an electronic mailbox of the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS). Subsequently, within one day, the certificate should be forwarded to the communication profile of the employer/payer of social insurance premiums.
In the transition period, i.e. by the end of 2017, doctors will be able to decide whether to issue a medical certificate of temporary inability to work due to illness in the traditional form (ZLA) or electronically (e-ZLA).
e-ZLA – new regulations’ impact on employers/payers of social insurance premiums and employees
Following the change employers/payers of social insurance premiums paying social insurance premiums for at least 5 employees/policyholders a month are obliged to establish a communication profile using a system made available by ZUS by 31 December 2015.
Employers/payers of social insurance premiums settling social insurance premiums for fewer than 5 employees/policyholders are not obliged to establish such a communication profile in ZUS. Still, employers/payers of social insurance premiums who will not establish a communication profile in ZUS should inform their employees/policyholders in writing of their obligation to provide a hard copy of each medical certificate of temporary inability to work due to illness also after 1 January 2016 (which implies an obligation to obtain a hard copy of ZLA or e-ZLA from a doctor). Moreover, for new employees/policyholders, the obligation to inform the employee/policyholder should be fulfilled on the first day of the coverage period.
Employees/policyholders visiting doctors who issue e-ZLA forms will not be obliged to provide the employer/payer of premiums with a hard copy of the e-ZLA. If they need to obtain a hard copy for their own purposes they may request such a document from their doctor.
At the same time, the physician should issue and give the employee/policyholder a hard copy of the e-ZLA if the employer/payer of such an employee/policyholder does not have a communication profile at the website of ZUS. The status of the employer/payer will be checked automatically when the e-ZLA is issued, but in such a case the employer/policyholder will be obliged to get a hard copy from the doctor and forward it to the employer/payer.