[Czech Republic] Nursing allowance related to a school facilities closure – autumn 2020
Due to the duration of the COVID-19 epidemic and the subsequent government regulation on the closure of school facilities, a new law (no 438/2020 Coll.) was published in the collection regulating special conditions for nursing allowance due to the care of a child who cannot attend the school. We bring basic information to this nursing allowance.
The conditions and parameters of the nursing allowance for the autumn are similar to those of the nursing allowance in the spring of 2020, however, some rules have changed. Please note that in this article we are only talking about a special nursing allowance due to the COVID-19 epidemic and the related school facilities closure. The general conditions will be discussed and then two perspectives: employee and payroll accounting.
The amount of the nursing allowance was set at 70% of the reduced daily assessment base, with the minimum amount of the nursing allowance for one day being set at CZK 400. However, if the employee works part-time, this minimum amount is reduced by the coefficient of part-time to full-time. When working 35 hours a week, the minimum amount therefore is (400/40) * 35 = CZK 350.
Entitlement to nursing allowance arises when caring for a child under 10 years of age, i.e. these are children born on October 15th, 2010 and later. Entitlement to nursing allowance also applies to the care of dependent children participating in school attendance dependent on the care of another person (from grade I) without age restrictions and a person over 10 years of age dependent on the care of another person using day, weekly care centers and similar facilities.
The change is for employees working on the basis of an agreement on the performance of work and an agreement on work activities. In both agreements, entitlement to nursing allowance arises if, in the month in which the employee first took the child into care, the agreement is insured (social insurance is paid from it). If the given agreement is not insured in this month, the right to nursing allowance arises if the agreement was insured in at least three immediately preceding months.
Again, it is possible to take turns in care with another person during the support period. However, rotation in one calendar day is not possible. Entitlement to nursing allowance can be claimed until the end of the schools’ closure, but no later than June 30th, 2021. However, the novelty is that entitlement to nursing allowance expires on the day of termination of employment.
The nursing allowance is not provided for days of school holidays and days off announced by the school principal during the school year. At the same time, the employee is not allowed to mark these days in the application, even though he / she has taken care of the child on these days. The employee honestly declares that these days are not marked in the application.
Nursing allowance is not paid for non-working days (weekends, public holidays) in a calendar week, unless the employee is entitled to the nursing allowance in this week, at least for 1 other calendar day, which was to be a working day for this employee. In other words, if the employee marks in one calendar week that he / she has only taken care of a child on days when he / she would not have worked otherwise (e.g. only on Saturday and Sunday), he / she will not receive any nursing allowance for these days.
Employee’s application for nursing allowance
Newly, the application for nursing allowance is filled in only by the employee. The school facility no longer confirms its closure. The employee informs about the closure of the school facility in his / her application. Another novelty is that an application number is generated on the portal for an application for nursing allowance. This number is generated for one batch case and is then used in all subsequent months. The employee should make a note of the number somewhere to indicate it on each month’s application. In the section "I declare that the above facility has been closed (partially closed) for the above reason from date", the date on which the school facility was closed shall be indicated, not the date from which the allowance is claimed or the employee first started taking care of the child. If the date of the reopening of school facilities is not known, the date "until" will not be filled in by the employee. After filling data in the portal, the employee exports the application to PDF, prints it, signs it and submits it to the employer in person, by post or scanned (photographed) by e-mail. If the employee hands over only the scan, he / she is obliged to hand over the original as well, e.g. after returning to work. There is also the possibility for the employee to fill in the application and send it to the employer using his own data box or e-mail, which, however, must be provided with a qualified electronic signature.
The employee also marks all the days he / she took care of the child, whether it is working days, public holidays or weekends. The Czech Social Security Office reimburses nursing allowances on the basis of calendar days, not working days. Therefore, if the employee fills in that he / she has only took care on working days and omits the weekends, he / she unreasonably reduces the total amount of nursing allowance. As mentioned above, it is not possible to mark days of taking care of a child, which are school holidays or days off announced by the school principal, and of course it is not possible to mark days when the employee worked (even if he / she worked only part of the shift). Likewise, it is not possible to mark taking care of a child on the day of the public holiday if the employee got paid for this day by the employer. In order to avoid possible complications, we strongly recommend that the employee and the employer agree in advance on the situation regarding the public holiday so that the employee's application matches the employer's records.
And how should a payroll accountant proceed? It is ideal that he / she fills in the employer's records on the portal, whereas it is crucial to mark not only the shift schedule correctly, but also the actual work performance. Based on the shift schedule, the Czech Social Security Office will know which days are non-working days, and based on the actual work performance, they will again know for which days they cannot pay nursing allowance. If the employee was not supposed to work on a public holiday, the payroll accountant will not mark this day either in the plan (1st line) nor in the actual work performance (2nd line). However, if an employee would normally have to work on a public holiday (with compensatory leave or surcharge), the payroll accountant should mark this day in the shift schedule.
The question remains how to proceed if the employee has marked that he / she was taking care of a child on a public holiday and handed over the application to the employer after the wages had been closed and the employer had paid him / her the public holiday in the payroll processing. According to the Czech Social Security Office information from the spring, in such a case, the employer should mark in the records that the employee should have worked and really worked on the public holiday so that the Czech Social Security Office knows that they should not pay nursing allowance for that day. However, this should ideally be prevented as described above.
The payroll accountant must also put the application number generated by the employee and information about the weekly working hours (in the case of part-time, the given coefficient) in the employer's records. Information about an employee’s return to work is only filled in when the need for nursing allowance ends (i.e. after the schools will have opened). The same applies to information on how many hours the employee worked on the last day of the support period and how many hours the work shift had on the last day. However, information about the termination of employment is vital.
A scan of the employee's application can also be attached to the completed records of the employer on the portal as an attachment, and the records can be sent directly via the portal together with the employee's application.
The nursing allowance will be paid by the Czech Social Security Office no later than 1 month after the day on which the duly completed documents were delivered by the employer.
Payroll Development Specialist