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New regulations on employee sickness, maternity take effect

Update: February, 03/2016 - 08:16

Circular No. 59/2015/TT-BLDTBXH, dated December 29, 2015, details and provides guidance on the implementation of provisions of the Social Insurance Law on Compulsory Social Insurance, which contains numerous new regulations regarding sickness and the maternity regime.

Sickness regime.

Previous regulations gave details about the conditions for sickness regime eligibility (such as employees suffering from ailments or injuries from accidents or sick children under the age of seven). Circular 59/2015/TT-BLDTBXH (Circular 59) provides further details about the terms linked to accidents such as "employees who suffer from accidents that are not occupational accidents, or are under treatment for their injuries, recurrent illness previously caused by work accidents or occupational diseases that lead to taking of leave."

Simultaneously, Circular 59 mentions specific cases that will not be eligible for the sickness regime, such as those taking time off for treatment of accidental injury suffered at work or occupational diseases; and suffering from sickness or accident injury during annual, personal, unpaid, or maternity leave. If female workers fall sick or have sick children while working during pregnancy, they are eligible for the regime.

It is essential for enterprises to take the above-mentioned cases of sickness regime ineligibility into consideration in order to determine their situations to avoid wasting time accepting all applications for sickness regime from workers and then having them rejected by insurance authorities.

The method to determine entitlement to the illness regime is quite different from that specified by older regulations:

The number of days in a month used to calculate the level of sickness regime entitlement is reduced to 24 days (26 days in the old regulations).

The percentage of sickness regime entitlement, applied to workers who quit their job from the 181st day due to a disease that requires long-term treatment, and who paid social insurance for less than 15 years, is increased to 50 per cent (from 45 per cent in previous provisions).

In addition, Circular 59 includes guidance on identifying the level of sickness regime entitlement applied to prolonged treatment by determining the number of months off; and a separate level of entitlement is made for odd days or incomplete months. The level of sickness regime entitlement is decided based on the number of days as provided for by older regulations.

Maternity regime

Circular 59 provides detailed guidance on cases and base salaries, by which the level of maternity regime applied to the father or the person directly fostering the child shall be calculated in case the mother passes away after giving birth. Specifically:

Where only the mother has joined social insurance before passing away after childbirth, the father is entitled to the maternity regime for the rest of the mother's remaining time. The level of the maternity regime entitlement shall be calculated based on the mother's salary.

Where both parents join social insurance, and then the mother passes away after childbirth, the father is entitled to the maternity regime for the rest of the mother's remaining time. The level of maternity regime entitlement shall be calculated based on the father's salary.

Where only the mother joins social insurance, but fails to meet the eligibility conditions for the maternity regime, the father or the person directly fostering the child are entitled to the maternity regime till the child is six months old. The level of maternity regime entitlement shall be calculated based on the mother's salary.

Where both parents join social insurance, but are ineligible for the maternity regime and then the mother passes away after giving birth, the father is entitled to the maternity regime for the rest of the mother's remaining time. The amount of the maternity regime entitlement shall be calculated based on the father's salary.

With regard to maternity leave, should the mother join social insurance and fail to meet the requirement of insurance payment time leading to ineligibility for the maternity regime, and eventually die after childbirth, the time of maternity regime entitlement of the father and person directly fostering the child has been raised from when the child is four months old (previous regulations) to six months old.

In order to guarantee their benefits, PLF recommends that enterprises should give heed to maternity-related cases provided above by Circular 59 to accurately determine base salaries and the duration of maternity leave in special cases, as well as be able to provide precise answers to related questions from their employees.

PLF – LAW FIRM

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