Relief or burden? The electronic sick note is coming.
These are eventful weeks in German doctors’ offices. For a long time now, many physicians in private practice have been struggling with overwork and problems with the health care system, sometimes even going on strike for this reason. In addition, there is a boom in flu infections and colds, which can be clearly seen in overcrowded waiting rooms.
Of all things, during this thoroughly tense situation comes an innovation that will pose a major challenge not only to doctors’ offices, but also to many companies: As of January 1, 2023, sickness reports must be sent electronically, from doctor’s office to health insurance company and then to the employer:in.
The idea is by no means new. In September 2019, the Bundestag had already passed this amendment in the so-called Bureaucracy Relief Act III. But for many companies, this cannot be called a relief for the time being, as this amendment to the law first causes additional work.
The electronic sick note: What changes for companies?
This means that as soon as an employee calls in sick, the employer must contact the relevant health insurance fund and request or query the electronic sickness notification so that it can then be entered into the company’s own system.
The technical enhancements required for this sometimes present companies with a mammoth task. In addition to the actual process of sending and retrieving sick notes for the actual procedure, employers need to think about how they will receive sick notes from employees in the future. Messages arrive by mail or email, are submitted in an Employee Self Service (ESS) or Manager Self Services (MSS) system is recorded or reported by telephone so that a time representative can enter the record directly into the system. In addition, the following questions need to be clarified:
- Will the employee be absent for more than three days?
- Is he/she sick or is he/she home because one of the children is sick?
- Is it an accident at work or other accident?
This, in turn, determines whether or not an employer has to request an eAU at all – with the corresponding effect on payroll accounting. Additional consideration must therefore be given to how the data will enter payroll in the future and with what type of absence, in order to keep manual activities for the department and the error rate in the eAU process as low as possible. In addition, consider revisiting and revising upstream processes or absences.
CAMAO TEC supports you with consulting around these processes, as well as the technical implementation, whether ESS/MSS scenarios, FIORI, SuccessFactors Employee Central, interface adaptations. You get a 360-degree solution and we are happy to implement these specifications on request.
Do you need assistance with the conversion to eAU? Our experts are there for you.
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