Second wave of emergency carer’s allowance
As in the spring, the government has responded to the second wave of the pandemic by taking steps to financially support both employers and employees, as well as the self-employed. Among other things, the measures adopted include an ‘emergency’ carer’s allowance, introduced at the end of October by the new Act on Changes in Providing Carers’ Allowances in Connection with Emergency Measures in the Event of an Epidemic. Compared to the spring, several changes has been made to the present emergency carer’s allowance.
Employees temporarily unable to work due having to take care of young children, dependent children, persons with disabilities, or children unable attend school due to quarantine ordered in their family are entitled to a carer’s allowance under the conditions stipulated in the act. Under the new rules, employees working based on an agreement to perform work or an agreement to complete a job shall also be entitled to carers’ allowances, provided that social security insurance has been paid for them. As in the spring, carers’ allowances for self-employed persons/sole traders fall within the competence of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The good news for parents (and other beneficiaries) is that the possibility to take turns with one other care giver remains in place; however, carers may not alternate within one single day.
A worse but equally important change from the spring is that the child's age limit to qualify for the carer’s allowance has been reduced from 13 to 10 years. Also, the amount of the allowance has changed: currently it amounts to 70% of the daily assessment base and a minimum of CZK 400 per day; for shorter working hours, the amount is reduced proportionately. Carers’ allowances can be applied for retrospectively from October 14, 2020, when schools were officially closed.
Carer’s allowance benefits shall be paid by the respective District Social Security Administration (‘DSSA’) on the basis of an electronically submitted application made using a new form. Employees must file the application through their employers.
The new rules have been set for the duration of the emergency measures banning on-site instruction in schools, but no later than until the end of the school year. As in the spring, once the emergency situation passes, the original rules under the Sickness Insurance Act should apply again.