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Germany Implements COVID19 Leave

On the 10th September 2021, the German Government implemented an amendment to the SARSCov-2-Occupational Health and Safety Regulation to introduce paid leave for employees to obtain their COVID19 vaccination.

As an attempt to encourage employees to obtain their vaccination, the German Government has introduced short-term paid leave for employees to obtain their COVID19 vaccination. The number of hours which an employee can use has not been specified, with the duration being dependant on each individual’s circumstance. The employee must return to work as soon as possible after they have received the vaccine and must notify their employer in advance of the chosen vaccination day.

Leave applies for each vaccine.

Employers should also ensure that they notify their employees of the risks related to COVID19 and their vaccination options. If the employer arranges for the vaccine to be given within the workplace, they must also provide support staff to company doctors when the vaccination programme is in session.

 

Australian Income Protection Changes for Retail Clients

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released changes to retail income protection plans, effective 1st October 2021.

Due to insurers running at losses on retail (individual) income protection plans, APRA has introduced changes to help insurers be able to control and manage the risk and plans more efficiently.

Some measures have been granted an extension to 1st October 2022 but several insurers are proceeding with all changes to their plans, effective from 1st October 2021.

Below is a summary of the key changes:

  • During the first 6 months of a claim, individuals will be capped at a maximum benefit limit of up to 90% of salary
  • The percentage benefit payable after the first 6 months is then reduced to a maximum of 70% of salary (a reduction from 75%)
  • Salary is calculated based on the income earned over the 12 months prior to the claim
  • Policy terms will no longer exceed 5 years. If the individual wants to continue the policy after the end of their original 5-year term, a new policy must be implemented, with potentially different T&Cs to those on the original plan, depending on if the individual’s circumstances have changed (e.g. if they have a new ‘riskier’ occupation)
  • Policies will no longer offer guaranteed renewal. Instead, each plan will be reviewed to ensure the individual is encouraged to work or return to work, where they are able to
  • This is expected to include changes such as insurers being able to change plan definitions from ‘own occupation’ to ‘any occupation’ if an individual has been claiming for 2 years and is able to obtain work in another occupation, even if they cannot work in their own

Existing retail plans and group income protection plans are not impacted by the above changes.

 

Russian Social Security Calculation Amendment

2021, the Government of the Russian Federation approved Decree No. 1540 which stipulates regulation for the procedure of calculating benefits on compulsory insurance, with effect from 1st January 2022.

The amendments of the decree will replace the current features established in 2007 and will be valid until September 2027.

The decree stipulates:

  • The calculation of compensation for temporary disability benefits, pregnancy and childbirth, and childcare monthly allowances to citizens who are subject to compulsory social insurance in case of temporary disability in connection with motherhood/childbirth
  • The provisions for accounting average earnings for temporary disability cannot be lower than minimum wage
  • The calculation of insurance benefits are subject to compulsory social insurance

Additional updates and guidance are expected..