Denmark reinstates Covid-19 sick leave compensation for parents and companies

Denmark is to again help cover sick pay costs for parents and companies unable to work from home during Covid-19 sickness and isolation.
Denmark is to again help cover sick pay costs for parents and companies unable to work from home during Covid-19 sickness and isolation. Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
Increased sick days taken by staff at Danish companies, related to the country’s current high rate of Covid-19 infections, are to be eligible for compensation after the government reached a deal with labour market representatives.

Because an increased number of people are testing positive for and getting sick with Covid-19, sick days taken at Danish companies are increasing.

This means companies are losing money when obliged to pay staff while they are in isolation.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about sick leave in Denmark

That problem could soon be addressed by temporary special provisions agreed between the government and labour market representatives on Tuesday.

The agreement would allow companies to apply for compensation for expenses incurred paying sick pay from the first day off taken by staff.

Parents who miss work to look after children sent home from school due to Covid-19 will be able to apply for care pay for up to ten days. Children must be aged 13 or under.

“If you can work from home, you should work from home. This is for all the people who have to attend work and cannot work from home,” Lizette Risgaard, head of the trade union umbrella organisation Fagbevægelsens Hovedorganisation (FH), told news wire Ritzau.

The sick pay scheme strongly resembles an earlier Covid-19 provision which expired on July 1st this year. It return is effective as of Tuesday and can be applied retroactively.

Companies have called for the scheme to return since July because of guidelines requiring isolation for people who have symptoms of Covid-19 or test positive for the coronavirus.

Under normal rules, companies must pay up to the first 30 days of sick pay for staff. The scheme announced on Tuesday allows companies to apply for reimbursement for this.

A criterion for the compensation is that the staff member in question is unable to work from home.

The organisation representing Danish employers, DA, said it backed the arrangement.

“Infections are increasing in society and we are seeing in many places that staff are forced to stay at home because of coronavirus. It’s very sensible that we are reimplementing the provisions where you can statutory sick pay from the first day,” DA chairperson Jacob Holraad said.

The agreement is set to expire on February 28th 2022. It will be reviewed close to this time to assess whether an extension is needed.


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