According to the Law on Health Insurance Benefits[1] incapacity for work shall mean when a worker is prohibited from performing his/her job in the interest of public health and no other position is offered, or if isolated on public health grounds by order of the relevant authority, furthermore, if the worker is unable to commute to his/her workplace due to an epidemiological or animal health emergency and no other position is available on a temporary basis.

The order effective from the 13th of August defines the following exception:

An insured person who has been ordered to undergo official home quarantine upon entering the territory of Hungary from a country with a less serious (yellow) or the severely infected (red) state shall not be deemed incapable for work provided that the person traveled with private passport or another travel document.

This means that those persons who return from holiday from a country with the above-mentioned infection level are not entitled to sick leave payment during the compulsory home quarantine because they are not incapable for work according to the law.

The order raised many questions in professional forums because the Law on Health Insurance benefits is a higher-level rule than the order, which is currently in conflict with the provision of the Law.

Employees who are now subject to official home quarantine when they return home from the countries concerned will no longer receive a medical certificate for this period. Those who have the conditions to work from home will not be disadvantaged, as they can continue working in the home office after the holiday, so there will be no loss of salary due to the new regulation.

Let’s see what the possibilities of the less fortunate employees are who are not in the position to work from home and will not be entitled to sick pay because they are not considered incapacitated:

+ If the employee has remaining holidays than these can be utilized with the consent of the employer, for the quarantine period absentee pay is calculated in this case.
+ If there are no or not enough remaining holidays than unpaid leave can be requested as well, however in this case the insurance is suspended, and health insurance contribution should be paid by the employee. You can find our previous article about health insurance payment liability here.
+ If the employee is incapable for work due to another sickness than sick leave payment can be requested for this period.
+ If the employee is working in a time frame system and the employer can schedule rest days for the quarantine period, the employer can still receive a salary for these days.

Those who are ordered for home quarantine due to other reasons are still classified as incapable for work. In this case sick leave payment is calculated for this period.

Cases, when a person is prohibited from work or isolated on public health grounds, are certified by doctors with a code 7 medical certificate. In case of incapacity for work with code “7”, there is no sick leave payment from the employer, from the first day of the absence sick leave allowance is paid provided that the eligibility conditions are met. In the case of code “7” sickness, the employer does not have to contribute to the sick leave benefit payment.

Read more articles regarding payroll regulations. 

[1] Point 44.g of Act on Health Insurance Benefits (Act LXXXIII. of 1997)