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Factsheet for measure SK-2020-13/294 Updated – measures in Slovakia

Introduction of a pandemic nursing benefit

Zavedenie pandemického ošetrovného

Country Slovakia , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 27 March 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Support for parents and carers (financial or in kind)
Author Rastislav Bednarik (IVPR)
Measure added 06 April 2020 (updated 07 February 2022)

Background information

With regard to protection against the expansion of COVID-19, the government ordered the closure of all schools, including pre-school facilities. During this period of quarantine, one parent must remain with the children. So far, the nursing benefit has been paid only for 10 calendar days. The Act. 63/2020 Coll. extends the period of payment of this benefit to the whole period of closure of a school or pre-school facility.

Content of measure

According to this COVID-19 related measure, the entitlement to the nursing benefit arises from the first day of the need for personal and full-time treatment of a close person and only expires on the day the need for his/her personal and full-day treatment ends (and not as previously, for a maximum of ten days). The condition of receiving the nursing benefit is that the beneficiary treats a child under 16 years of age all day, whose health condition, as confirmed by the relevant doctor, necessarily requires treatment by another natural person. The benefit is also paid if the beneficiary cares for the child until the age of eleven (up to 18 years of age with long-term adverse health conditions), when the child has been ordered to quarantine or isolate.

The benefit shall also be paid if the pre-school or social care facility in which the child is being provided, or the school the child attends, has been closed by decision of the competent authorities or has been subject to a quarantine measure. Another case of eligibility arises when the insured person cares for a close relative, sibling, spouse, spouse or parent of the spouse if the social service facility in which such a person is provided with social services in an outpatient or residential form is as a result of a decision by the competent authorities concluded or quarantined.

The first estimations suggest that the nursing benefit for workers will correspond to an average daily amount of €15.80.

Updates

The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

13 May 2021

The measure is still valid.

02 October 2020

According to new legislation, from 23 September, the control was tightened because the payer of the benefit (Office of Labor, Social Affairs and Family) first verifies the eligibility of the application with the Social Insurance Agency (keeps records of the child's non-participation in education).

Use of measure

It is foreseen that in 2020, the nursing benefit will be paid to 200,000 beneficiaries with a total duration of 101 days. The nursing benefit will be granted for all days during the closure of school and pre-school facilities, not only for 10 calendar days. Expenditure on the basis of these assumptions is expected to be around €319.2 million in 2020.

In April and May 2020, the Social Insurance Agency paid 230,262 benefits of "pandemic nursing" in the amount of €62,218,391 (a year ago in 2019 it was only 29,608 benefits in the amount of €3,259,123).

The pandemic nursing benefit was drawn from April to August 2020, mostly in May and June. The Institute of Social Policy (ISP) estimates that the number of recipients of this benefit was 136,000 in May and 118,000 in June and only 16,000 in August. The number of recipients and expenses will decrease in the future as schools and preschools start operating again from 2 September 2020. So there will be no reason to stay home with children due to pandemic quarantine. The declining trend continued until October, when 15,834 benefits were paid. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, nursing expenses have increased more than eleven times by €132.5 million compared to the previous year.

In November 2020, the number of benefit recipients increased slightly to 7,197 compared with November 2019, in December 2020 it was 5,877 more than in December 2019 and in January 2021 7,313 more than in January 2020. Accordingly, the total benefits increased by €1.1 million more in November 2020, by €1.4 million more in December 2020 and by €2 million more in January 2021 in comparison with the respective months of the previous year.

According to Social Insurance Agency (21 April 2021), from 1 April 2020 to the end of March 2021, the agency provided more than 605,000 pandemic nursing benefits to its policyholders. The average amount of pandemic nursing allowance was €276.97 per month and the agency spent €167.5 million on these benefits.

The number of "nursing care" benefits has declined since April 2021. While in April 2021 the Social Insurance Agency paid 38,918 benefits of pandemic nursing care, in May it was 23,890 benefits, in June 16,213, in July 11,905 and in August 2021 it was 10,284 benefits. For comparison, in August 2019 the number of benefits was 10,350. So in the summer of 2021, the situation returned to normal.

During the first year of the pandemic (March 2020 to February 2021), the number of nursing benefits paid increased 3.6 times year-on-year by 453,403 benefits; expenditure over the same period increased by about 8.4 times by almost €148 million. In the second year of the pandemic (March to November 2021), the number of paid nursing benefits increased by 91,685 compared to the pre-pandemic period, which represents an increase of 70%. Over the same period, the cost of the nursing benefit increased by almost €27 million (182%) compared to the same period before the outbreak of the pandemic.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Employees in standard employment
Self-employed
Parents in employment
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social insurance
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown

Involvement

No involvement.

Views and reactions

Social partners were not involved by the government in the designing or implementation of this measure.

Sources

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Introduction of a pandemic nursing benefit, measure SK-2020-13/294 (measures in Slovakia), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/SK-2020-13_294.html

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