why work stoppages without a waiting day are eliminated

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What does the decree published on Saturday January 28 in the Official Journal say?

From Wednesday February 1, 2023, exceptional work stoppages – without a waiting day – for people who test positive for Covid-19 will no longer be possible. A decree to this effect was published on Saturday January 28 in the Official Journal. From Wednesday, it will therefore no longer be possible to request them directly on the Health Insurance website.

These derogatory work stoppages were issued “to policyholders who are unable to continue working, including remotely”. In detail, they concerned employees and civil servants on sick leave due to Covid-19, but also people in contact, or even those placed in isolation following a trip to certain “at risk” countries and who do not could not telecommute. The system was also valid for parents forced to keep their Covid-19 positive children at home.

In concrete terms, this measure allowed employees to receive the daily allowances paid by Social Security, and any employer supplement, from their first day of sick leave.

This measure will allow Social Security to save money: the epidemic cost it more than 18 billion euros in 2020 and nearly 15 billion in 2021, and at the very least 5 billion euros again in 2022.

What is the waiting period?

The waiting period refers to the first 3 days of a work stoppage, during which no daily allowance is paid. From the fourth day, the health insurance pays daily allowances to compensate for the salary during the work stoppage. These indemnities are calculated on the basis of the gross salary received.

The daily allowance is equal to 50% of the basic daily salary. This is calculated on the average of the gross wages of the last 3 months preceding the work stoppage (12 months in the event of seasonal activity). The salary in question is taken into account within the limit of 1.8 times the monthly minimum wage, i.e. €3,076.70 gross (based on the minimum wage in force on January 1, 2023 and for work stoppages beginning on or after January 1, 2023). January 2023). Even if the salary is higher than €3,076.70, the daily allowance cannot exceed €50.58 gross.

Depending on the duration of the sick leave (less than or greater than six months), the conditions for being compensated are different.

In addition, the employer may be subject to a collective agreement for the professional branch which ensures that the full or partial salary is maintained during sick leave. He may also have concluded an internal company agreement providing for this maintenance.

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For civil servants, the waiting period is limited to one day, the allowances are therefore paid from the second day of the work stoppage. This waiting day was introduced in 2012 by Nicolas Sarkozy before being abolished in 2014 by François Hollande, and reinstated by Emmanuel Macron in 2017.

Why this derogatory system?

The derogatory work stoppage – without a waiting day – had been introduced at the start of the health crisis, in 2020, “in order to limit the spread of the epidemic”. The objective was to dissuade people from working in spite of everything to avoid loss of remuneration, and this at the risk of contaminating other people. It has been extended several times, most recently by the Social Security budget for 2023, which however provided for the end of this measure ” later “ at the end of this year.

The government has therefore decided to bring forward the deadline, in view of a marked improvement in the health situation since the beginning of the year: less than 16,000 patients are currently hospitalized, compared to nearly 25,000 at the end of December 2022.

In this “favorable epidemic context”the Directorate General of Health (DGS) announced in a press release “several developments” also taking effect on February 1. Thereby, “systematic isolation” positive cases and “taking a test” after two days for their contacts “will no longer be required”. Little applied in practice, these precautions nevertheless remain “highly recommended”

In addition, the recording of positive test results in the SI-DEP computer file will now be “conditional on obtaining the prior consent of the persons concerned”until the end of this epidemic monitoring tool, scheduled for the end of June.

The follow-up of “contact cases”through the service “Covid contact” managed by Health Insurance, will cease definitively on Wednesday.

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