Sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease provides loss-of-income compensation for persons placed in quarantine

Kela can pay a sickness allowance on account of an infectious diseases to employees who have been ordered to stay away from work in order to prevent the spread of a communicable disease such as the novel coronavirus. The sickness allowance is also available to the provider of a child under the age of 16 who is placed in quarantine, making it impossible for the provider to continue working while the quarantine is in effect.

There is no waiting period to qualify for the sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease, and the allowance provides full compensation for the loss of income suffered during a period of absence from work, isolation or quarantine. For employees, the sickness allowance is determined on the basis of the salary they would have earned if able to continue working. For self-employed persons, the allowance is determined on the basis of their annual earnings under the Self-Employed Persons’ (YEL) or Farmers’ (MYEL) Pensions Acts at the beginning of the absence.

Payment of the allowance requires the affected person to present to Kela a decision from the physician in charge of infectious disease response for the municipality or hospital district which indicates that the affected person has been barred from work or placed in isolation or quarantine.

Persons who have been placed in isolation or quarantine in an EU country can be paid a daily allowance. The placement in isolation or quarantine must be certified by a physician authorised to issue an isolation or quarantine order in the relevant country.

The allowance provides compensation for loss of income and is therefore payable only for days in which the affected person cannot work due to placement in isolation or quarantine. The allowance is not available for example if it coincides with a leave of absence or if telecommuting would be an option.  Proof of the loss of income must be presented in the form of documentation from the employer.

So far, Kela has not received any applications related to quarantine.

In 2019, a total of 120 persons were paid a sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease. The total amount of the payments was EUR 324,749.

Press release updated 9 March 14:45 about the payment of allowance in the case of isolation or quarantine in an EU country. 

Press release has been updated 6 March 13:35 about the payment of allowance in the case of quarantine abroad. 

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