SDE want sick leave reimbursement, care home fees added to state budget

Riina Sikkut.
Riina Sikkut. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Social Democrats (SDE) have highlight two main issues with the state budget for 2021 - compensation for sick days and care home fees. The SDE plans to table 19 amendments on Monday.

Although the government has reached an agreement on compensation for sick days and a consensus is being reached with the Estonian Employers' Confederation, SDE member Riina Sikkut does not believe a breakthrough has been accomplished yet.

"It will be very nice if the government can finally make this decision and implement and enforce it before January 1 next year. That is what we hope for. But this does not mean that, at the same time, we can sit back and hope for the new year's budget," Sikkut told ERR.

SDE would prefer sick leave to be reimbursed from day one but the government is discussing paying it from day two.

Last month the party put forward a bill concerning payment for the first day and then the rest of sick leave which would be split with 40 percent each paid by both the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (Haigekassa/ EHIF) or state and the employer. From the ninth day, the state would take over.

However, Sikkut said an agreement could be reached on a less generous scheme.

She said another important issue is the partial reimbursement of care home fees by the state, which the party believes should be paid by the government and not an individual's family.

The deadline for tabling amendments to the budget is the evening of Monday, November 2. The first reading of the 2021 state budget was on October 19, the second reading is planned for November 18.

Reimbursement of sick pay has a been a big topic of discussion recently as workers are being encouraged not to go to work when they have coronavirus symptoms.

Under the current system, employers pay for days four to eight and the EHIF from day nine. The new scheme would see employers pay for days two to five and the EHIF from day six.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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