A citizen with social security coverage is eligible for sick-leave and sick-pay if incapacity for work occurs due to health-related issues and the status is verified by a doctor, given that the person complies with the applying legal regulations.
In the first 15 days of incapacity for work, one is eligible for sick-leave. This period is covered by the employer, the amount of payment is 70% of the salary for this period of absence.
It is possible to backdate the start date of sick-leave, if it is necessary. A GP, a GP Pediatrician or the treating physician can backdate the start date of sick-leave at a maximum 5 days prior to the appointment scheduling date, or a 1st or 2nd grade medical examiner can backdate the start date of sick-leave at a maximum of 6 months prior, in special cases.
When the sick-leave is over, the sick-pay period starts. Its amount depends on the length of the sick-pay and the social security coverage and, if any, the hospital stay. There is a maximum limit for sick-pay. The maximum limit is determined by the cause of incapacity for work, depending on this, the sick-pay can reach the 50 or 60% of the average monthly salary.
From January 1, 2021 if capital or county government offices during the revision of incapacity for work request incompleteness in the documentation, an administrative fine on the requester will be inflicted due to professional shortcomings or failure to implement administrative burdens.
Eligibility for sick-leave
An employee is eligible for sick-leave whose employment status is regulated by the Hungarian Labour Code (Munka Törvénykönyve). Public sector employees, public service officials, government officials and state service employees are also eligible for sick-leave.
The sick-leave period is covered by the employer, its amount is 70% of the payment for periods of absence. After sick-leave, taxes and other contributions have to be paid.
In the first 15 days of incapacity for work (if originates from the health condition) one is eligible for sick-leave (not sick-pay). If the employment status began during the year, the patient is eligible for a proportionate part of sick-leave.
Individuals who are non-eligible for sick-leave:
- members of partnerships (except if they work with employment status),
- workers with mandates,
- employees with occupational accident and occupational disease-caused incapacity for work,
- high-risk pregnant women during the period of incapacity for work.
Employees with occupational accidents or diseases are eligible for sick-pay.
Eligibility for sick-pay
An employee is eligible for sick-pay if their period of incapacity for work is longer than the period of sick-leave or their incapacity for work arises from another reason, but a disease.
In order to become eligible for sick-pay, one has to meet three criteria:
- valid social security coverage,
- a person during the period of incapacity for work has to pay a social security contribution fee,
- the incapacity for work is determined and verified by a doctor.
The following individuals are eligible for sick-pay:
- if someone is incapable of work because of a disease,
- if someone is pregnant, or has just given birth, and because of these reasons, they are incapable of work and who are not eligible for child care support,
- the mother of a child younger than 1, and the child is hospitalized, and the mother breastfeeds the child,
- the parent of a child younger than 12, and the child is hospitalized, and the parent stays at the hospital with the child,
- the parent of a child younger than 12, and the parent nurses the child at their own place of residency,
- someone who is hospitalized in order to get their diagnosis established or in order to receive medical treatment,
- employees who are restricted from their occupation for epidemiological reasons, or because of a quarantine they cannot present at their workplace, and they cannot be transiently employed at another workplace or in another position, either,
- out of social justice, the parent is eligible for sick-pay, if they provide nursing care for their child aged 12-18 at their place of residency, or the child is hospitalized for receiving medical treatment and the parent stays with the child during the hospital-stay.
The incapacity for work can be determined and verified by the GP or the treating physician. If the patient does not agree with the doctor’s decision, a revision from the designated medical examiner working for the county’s governmental office or in case of the capital, the XIII. district’s Governmental office can be requested.
The following individuals are not eligible for sick-pay:
- for the part of the period of the incapacity for work, where the social security covered employee receives their whole wage (those who only receive a part of their wage, are eligible for sick-pay);
- for the part of the period of incapacity for work during which the employee does not social security coverage;
- if there is no obligation to work (e.g. unpaid leave);
- for the weekend or a work-day holiday after the end of the sick-leave, if the next workday after the sick-leave does not belong to the period of incapacity for work;
- during the period of child care support (except if the parent during receiving child care support has an employment status and is eligible for sick-pay based on that);
- for the period of detention or imprisonment;
- during receiving pension;
- during retirement before the age limit, service remuneration, professional dancer annuities, and transient miner remuneration (except if the individual has an employment status beside all of these remunerations and they are eligible for sick-pay based on that).
The amount of sick-pay
Several factors influence the amount of sick-pay. Primarily, it is influenced by the salary, based on which the employee is expected to pay a social security contribution fee. The base of the sick-pay is determined by the daily average of the salary.
The amount of sick-pay depends on the length of the social security coverage and, if any, the hospital stay and it is the 60 or 50% of the average daily salary, with a maximum limit.
Emergency period regulations
During the emergency period, the doctor can electronically (e.g. in the form of e-mails) forward the certification for incapacity for work to the patient.
During the emergency period, the social security covered employee can send the document electronically to the employer (e.g. in the form of e-mails). The employer has to attest the receipt of the documents and certificates.