20.02.2024 Labour law

[Poland] Sick pay – higher base from January 2024

On 1 January 2024, the amount of the sick pay base rose. By how much? What other changes may await employers and their employees this year?

Sick pay base in the new amount

On 1 January 2024, the amount of the sick pay base changed. This is all due to an increase in the minimum wage. As of 1 January, the gross minimum wage in Poland is PLN 4 242 and the minimum hourly rate is PLN 27.70.

The sick pay base amounts, according to the regulations, to at least 86.29 per cent of the minimum wage. Therefore, as of 1 January 2024, the base of the sick pay benefit on L4 is PLN 3,660.43. Recall that as of July 2023, this base was PLN 3106.44.

In July this year, the minimum wage will increase again (to PLN 4,300). The sick pay base from 1 July will therefore be PLN 3,710.47.

Gross amount of sick pay base
As from 1 January 2024As from 1 July 2024As from 1 July 2023
PLN 3 660.43PLN 3 710.47PLN 3 106.44

Sick pay is a benefit paid to a person covered by social security who has become unable to work due to illness (L4). Currently, the monthly sick pay is 80% of the benefit base.

Sick pay also after termination of employment?

After the termination of the insurance period, i.e. e.g. with the end of employment, the insured person is also entitled to sick pay, but under certain conditions. Namely, the benefit will be paid if the period of continuous inability to work also falls after the termination of the insurance. The maximum period of benefit payment after the termination of insurance is 91 days.

Exceptions to this rule are cases in which the incapacity arose as a result of undergoing the necessary medical examinations provided for cell, tissue and organ donor candidates and cell, tissue and organ donation surgery, and for incapacity caused by tuberculosis or occurring during pregnancy.

100% salary on L4, i.e. the government’s plans for the future of ZUS

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion in the context of ZUS contributions and sick pay about a draft bill concerning the so-called contribution holiday and the transfer of the burden of providing sick pay for an employee who is on L4 from the employer to ZUS. Read more: A month without ZUS contributions? New solutions for entrepreneurs coming up

There is also another solution in the government’s plans. This is full sick pay, i.e. 100 per cent of salary on L4. Currently, an employee receives sick pay of 80 per cent of salary during incapacity.

L4 under control. ZUS data for Q4 2023

Changes to the rules for paying sick pay are needed. As data from the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) show, in Q4 2023, the body carried out 124.3 thousand inspections of persons holding a certificate of temporary inability to work. As a result, ZUS issued 8.3 thousand decisions withholding further payment of sickness benefits for the amount of PLN 9,860.7 thousand.

Moreover, due to the limitation of the assessment basis of sickness benefit and rehabilitation benefit after the termination of the sickness insurance title to 100% of the average remuneration, the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) in Q4 2023 reduced payments to 24.1 thousand persons for a total amount of PLN 37 715.2 thousand. The total amount of reduced and withdrawn ZUS benefits in case of sickness and maternity in Q4 2023 was PLN 47,576.0 thousand.

However, the most common causes of incapacity throughout 2023 included:

  • acute upper respiratory tract infections – 2.7 million sick leave (e-ZLA),
  • colds – 1.6 million sick leave,
  • obstetric care due to pregnancy-related conditions – 1.2 million sick leave.

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