New scheme for the employer's right to early reimbursement and the self-employed's right to sickness benefit as a result of covid-19.
On December 9, 2021, the Danish Parliament adopted a law amending the Sickness Benefits Act and the Maternity Act (Extended right for employers to reimbursement and for self-employed persons to sickness benefits as a result of covid-19 and a new temporary period of entitlement to unemployment benefits for childcare as a result of covid-19).

The law enters into force on December 16, 2021, but has retroactive effect from November 23, 2021 and applies to absence during the period from November 23, 2021 through February 28, 2022.

The law also applies to employees or self-employed persons who have their first day of sick leave before November 23, 2021, and where the sick leave meets the conditions and the person is still absent on November 23, 2021. This means that if your employee has had their first day of absence before November 23, and is still covered by the employer period, they will be entitled to sickness benefits from November 23 if the provisions of the law are met.

What does the law mean for you? The law means that employers are entitled to sickness benefit reimbursement from the first day of absence for employees who are: - documented infected with covid-19 - or on the recommendation of health authorities must go into self-isolation because they are in close contact. Similarly, self-employed persons are entitled to sickness benefit if they are: - documented infected with covid-19 - or are recommended by health authorities to self-isolate due to close contact.

There is no entitlement to early reimbursement/sickness benefit if the employee or self-employed person has symptoms without testing positive, can work from home, has gone into voluntary isolation or the absence is due to late effects/after-effects of COVID-19.

First day of absence Close contact: If your employee or you as a self-employed person must go into isolation as recommended by health authorities, the first day of absence is the first day you are in isolation. Contagion: If your employee or you as a self-employed person have tested positive, the first day of absence is the day you are unable to work due to symptoms, not the day you get the test result.

Example: Your employee is unable to work from Monday morning due to symptoms. Therefore, they stay at home and make an appointment for a corona test. If the test is positive, you as an employer can receive a sickness benefit refund with effect from the first day of absence on Monday if the conditions for sickness benefit are otherwise met.

Special about close contact An employee is only covered by the close contact scheme if they are recommended by health authorities to go into self-isolation. According to current guidelines, vaccinated employees, for example, do not generally have to go into isolation and are therefore not covered by the possibility of early reimbursement/early sick pay.

On November 29, 2021, the health authorities updated the guidelines for tracing and handling close contacts. The update consisted of a tightening of the recommendation that both close contacts and close contacts of close contacts, regardless of vaccination or previous infection status, were recommended to self-isolate in situations where infection with Omicron/B.1.1.529 was confirmed or suspected.

On December 7, 2021, the guidelines were updated so that there are no longer special recommendations for close contacts of close contacts in situations where infection with Omicron/B.1.1.529 is confirmed or suspected.

This means the following: if you have an employee who was a close contact of a close contact and your employee went into isolation on November 29, 2021 due to confirmed or suspected infection with Omicron/B.1.1.529, your employee will no longer be eligible for early reimbursement from December 8. This is because from December 8th you are considered to be in voluntary isolation if you continue the isolation. The last day of absence for these people will therefore be December 7, 2021 and you can only apply for reimbursement up to and including December 7.

The same applies to the self-employed.

Documentation of infection or isolation It's up to you as an employer to make sure if the employee is infected with COVID-19 or needs to be in isolation as close contact before requesting early reimbursement. As an employer, you can request documentation of the positive test or request a solemn declaration that your employee follows the health authorities' recommendation for self-isolation as close contact.

How to report the absence As an employer, you must request the reimbursement via NemRefusion and state "covid-19 infected" or "covid-19 close contact isolation" as the reason for applying for early reimbursement. This will appear in the notification letter to your employee, who must respond if they do not agree with the information you have provided.

As a self-employed person, you must report the absence via the form NR 104C, which you can find on KL's website.