The government plans to allow employees to self-declare their very short-term sick leave

The government plans to allow employees to self-declare their very short-term sick leave
The government plans to allow employees to self-declare their very short-term sick leave

Soon a new process for declaring sick leave? The government plans to allow employees to self-declare their very short work stoppages. The objective is to “free up medical time“, declared Frédéric Valletoux, Minister Delegate for Health, Tuesday on TF1. The government reacts to a report from the Court of Auditors, published Monday, which criticizes the policy of combating medical deserts. The institution suggests “explore” the self-declaration route, a process already put in place in several countries also facing shortages of doctors.

Frédéric Valletoux wishes “open (this topic) with employers“. “We must, with employer networks, discuss the feasibility of this measure, which would free up medical time“, he declared. For the Sages of rue Cambon, the measure would imply the establishment of one or two days of absence which could not be compensated. Currently, the first three days of sick leave are not compensated by health insurance, but are covered by a majority of companies (61%, according to a 2015 Drees study).

Employer organizations not supportive

For Medef, this is not a good idea. The employers’ organization believes that sick leave “must remain based on medical justification“, adding that it is a “wrong answer to the question of the lack of doctors“. The confederation of SMEs (CPME) indicates for its part that “it can be done but not without safeguards“. The organization wants the establishment of three public order waiting days, that is to say compensable neither by health insurance, nor by company mutual societies or the employer.

The CPME also wants to establish an annual cap of seven days for self-declared stops and prevent them from allowing the acquisition of paid leave. Finally, she wants this measure to be transitional, until the shortage of doctors in France is resolved.

Benoît Serre, vice-president of the National Association of Human Resources Directors (ANDRH) believes that this measure would involve “a transfer to the company of control of sick leave of its own employees. This is not the type of connection a company wants to have with its employees.“. The manager sees it as a form of “relation of suspicion“.
Benoît Serre of ANDRH rather advocates “the extension of those who can issue short work stoppages, such as nurses or pharmacists“.

Proposal also rejected by the unions

The CFDT considers that sick leave “is a medical procedure that requires an exchange with a doctor“, which can possibly “be done by video to overcome the difficulties linked to medical deserts“, reacted Isabelle Mercier, national secretary. The first union in France has made it known that it will oppose “against any increase in the waiting period, which is unfair and harms the most vulnerable“.

The FO unionfears that this ‘confidence’ granted to the patient by a self-declaration will be counterbalanced, or even ‘exchanged’, against an extension of the waiting days“. The CFTC believes that “this will increase suspicion” against employees on sick leave.”This can even lead to endangering people who do not see a doctor, underestimating their state of health.“, according to the CGT.

The self-declaration proposal, on the other hand, is favored by the union of young general practitioners Reagjir. “The fight against unnecessary consultations for purely administrative reasons is undoubtedly a major lever for promoting access to care.“, he said, calling for examples from other European countries.

In the United Kingdom, the self-certification procedure for stops of less than seven days, generalized in 1985, is now “used routinely“via a simple form to fill out, the employee”can be paid for days of absence beyond three days“, observes the Court of Auditors in its report. In addition to saving medical time, the government is looking for ways to save money, to try to control the strong growth in expenses linked to sick leave, which weighs nearly 16 billion euros per year.



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