Tallinn extends day one sick pay benefit to end of May

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Crowds at a Tallinn tram stop (photo is illustrative). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Tallinn city government has said it is prolonging a sick pay scheme by one month, to the end of May. The scheme, which sees employees' sick pay reimbursed from day one of a period of illness, had originally been planned to end at the end of this month.

The city government says that it wants to continue to limit the spread of COVID-19, by encouraging Tallinn residents to stay home if they have reason to believe they may have contracted the virus.

While the basis of sick pay nationwide was changed at the beginning of this year so that sick pay started from day two of a period of illness, this still left the problem of employees potentially being out-of-pocket by one day's pay, meaning there was a risk people who had contracted COVID-19 would still go to work, and potentially spread the virus further.

The city government passed its draft regulation to the city council chamber Wednesday. The Center Party has a majority at the chamber, and makes up the city government alone, rather than in a coalition.

City authorities say interest in the scheme has been high, with close to 1,900 applications submitted since it came into effect mid-April.

Many residents have been asking whether it would be extended into May, the city government adds.

Sick pay from day one is only available to residents of Tallinn – those commuting in to work from elsewhere would not be eligible. The scheme reportedly also covers those quarantining or who are identified as having been in close contact with a carrier, and sees €30 for the day passed on to the applicant. From day two, the national sick pay system is applicable.

A total of around 25,000 incapacity for work certificates are issued in Tallinn every month, the state Health Insurance Fund says.

The compensation can be applied for retrospectively, for periods of illness starting from March 25 this year, while applicants must wait for the national sickness benefit to be paid by the health insurance fund first.

Applicants must use the city's e-services portal, using the normal authentication methods (ID card, mobile ID, Smart ID) or if that is not possible, via email, to the city government district office where the individual resides.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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