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Interview

RIGHT OF EMPLOYERS’ CONTROL OVER SICK LEAVE

19 september, 2016
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Employers, who pay workers the sick leave, shall not be deprived of the right of control, as well as the possibility of concluding contracts for health care of workers with private centers and clinics.

(Exclusive interview with the General Director of Trade House «Casa Mobilei», Adriana Severovan, by the reporter Vladimir Sidorenko)

"I.": There is an opinion that Moldova's employers are not satisfied with an order to carry out the payment of compensation to employees while they are on sick leave in the first five days of illness. Why is that?

A.S.:
Because such an order is anti-entrepreneurial.

"I.": But what about the "social responsibility" of the business?

A.S.:
The business has another purpose. Its goal is to make a profit. Responsibility means to timely pay the taxes in various budgets, fees and contributions, due to which the state should, in particular, implement the compensation for the days spent on sick leave. The state, by introducing the obligation, has not defined how such costs should be qualified by the employer.

Cost of production or distribution costs – it is not an agglomerate of different chaotic costs. This is a list of certain cost components. Such is, for example, the cost of labor and material contributions to the funds of social and health insurance, depreciation of equipment, payment of taxes and fees. While these costs, what are they?

Salary? No, since the Labour Code of the Republic of Moldova specifies that salary is the remuneration and earnings in terms of money paid by the employer for the performed work or for the work to be performed.

Contributions to the Social Security Budget (SSB)? No. Since the annual social insurance budget laws do not provide for contributions to the Fund from these payments.

Taxes? No. Because the Tax Code does not qualify this "money" as a tax. And when calculating the tax burden on business, it is also not taken into account. This, in my opinion, is wrong. Since the payment of compensation is a state prescription. I asked in the statistics bureau: why they do not consider these costs when calculating the tax burden? And I got the answer: these costs are not qualified as taxes!

The government does not consider them as the tax burden, and to do so have to the entrepreneurs. Especially when they are willing to create a joint business with foreign investors. They ask the question: why the official tax burden is expressed in some numbers, and the real one – in others? And the answer here is not playful enough. Foreign partners are interested in the end result of a business – profit. And the payment of compensation reduces it. And if we wish in Moldova to come serious investment, we have to get unambiguous and clear rules.

"I.": If the government takes into account the payment of "sick leave" as the tax burden, employers' outrage will decrease?

A.S.:
In terms of statistical significance – yes. But the problem has another aspect, which makes the business to get nervous. Not everyone knows how was implemented this practice. First was ordered to pay the employee one day of sick leave, then three, now five, and tomorrow what surprises should be expected?

But employers are interested in not only the answer to this question. It is also important for the "sick leave" of the employee to be issued by the medical institution, with which he signed a contract. Of course, if he wishes so.

Acute respiratory infections (ARI), or flu, are generally treated within a week. And such illnesses are in total 75-80% of diseases. And the hospitals, now, for more than a week do not hold the patients. It turns out that the state its obligation of paying the sick leave puts on the employers. And if so, then why in addition to these expenses, it forces us to provide deductions to the SSB in the amount of 23%?! In addition, to the fund transfer money even the workers themselves. It would have been much more honest if the state withdrew from the employers this financial responsibility.

However, the Moldovan business is now concerned not only by the pay for the first five days of sick leave, but that it has no legal right to carry out checks on whether the employee is ill or he by using the employer decided to arrange for himself a short-term paid leave.

"I.": After recovery, does the employee not provide a sheet of sick leave?

A.S.:
He provides it, but the employer must ensure that the employee does not "lead him by the nose". When the State itself paid the worker the first five days of the sick leave, it had the right to exercise control over a person to see if he undertakes any treatment. The employer, today, is deprived of such a possibility. Why?

In addition, the companies paying for the first few days of sick leave, shall be granted the right to enter into contracts with medical institutions (regardless of whether they are public or private), in which will be required to seek treatments their employees, if they are overtaken by illness.

"I.": How constitutionally is to suggest to an employee at the first symptoms of the disease not to go to the clinic he is registered with, but to the institution with which the company entered into a contract?

A.S.:
The verdict whether it is constitutional or not should decide the Constitutional Court. But fact is fact, the state, putting the responsibilities on the employers shoulders in order to pay Indemnity for the five days of disability, did not bother to provide them with control levers. This does not apply to cases where the worker is urgently hospitalized. In a hospital it is always possible to visit him.

"I.": If the employee does not wish to apply to the prescribed medical institution, who should, in this case, pay the compensation?

A.S.:
The state. The employees also make contributions from their earnings to the SSB. In addition, the employer also sends to the fund a lot of money. Here is one more important thing to notice. The head of the company, subject to the conditions of non-disclosure of medical confidentiality, should possess the information what diseases suffers from his subordinates. This does not mean that a person, for example, suffering from epilepsy, should be deprived of the right to work. This right should be guaranteed to him. However, about his chronic illness the company needs to know. At least in order to take appropriate action in the event of a seizure at the workplace.

"I.": Individual entrepreneurs are confused by the fact that a significant amount is transferred to the SSB, and the sheets of temporary disability gives the ministry of health to the workers.

A.S.:
I do not care what body issues the medical certificate. It is important that it is given by an institution I trust.

I want to let go of this issue and raise another important question that worries me. Today in Moldova the level of public health services is very low. Many people wishing to get professional help in the treatment of their illnesses are treated in private clinics or go to specialists with a medical name. And if this is granted, then the private medicine should have the same rights as the state one. And there should not be any restrictions, if an entity wishes to conclude a collective agreement for medical care of its employees with a private medical center. And not only for the treatment of workers during their sick leave, but also for preventive procedures aimed at maintaining the health of employees.

"I.": Thank you for the interview!

Comments [ 1 ] Add Comment

  1. 2016.09.29 16:21 cord
    Useful for investors. Unfortunately there are hidden spots in several areas.

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