State contribution to companies for obligatory antigen testing of their employees
- Roman Burnus
- Marek Toráč
We have all surely noticed the decree of the Ministry of Healthcare from 1 March 2021, which lays down the obligation for employers to test their employees for the presence of SARS-CoV. At first, this decree only applied to companies, which have a minimum of 250 employees in full-time employment, with agreement to perform work or agreement to complete a job. The obligation to test their employees newly also applies to companies with at least 1 employee, as well as to self-employed persons performing self-employment as their primary gainful activity.
The ministry encourages the use of “self-testing” the most, or it is possible to use testing by a company physician or a contractual physician or an external provider of healthcare services. Employees must undergo a test at the employer once a week. If an employee refuses testing and does not supply a confirmation of having undergone testing elsewhere, labour-law consequences may be derived from this action according to article 301 letter c) of the Labour Code.
Employees on home office need not be tested, or employees, who have already undergone the COVID-19 disease as confirmed by laboratory tests, their isolation has ended and no more than 90 days have elapsed since the first positive test.
Programme for support of performing self-sampling tests for the COVID-19
Following a resolution of the government of the Czech Republic no. 191 of 24 February 2021 for support of “self-testing”, health insurance companies have launched a programme of contributions to employers for purchase of antigen testing.
Amount of the contribution
The maximum amount of the contribution reaches CZK 60 including VAT for 1 test. An employer may draw down the contribution per employee for the purchase of a maximum of 4 tests per calendar month (CZK 240 including VAT) regardless of the number of his employees, with a frequency of once in seven days at maximum.
Conditions for drawdown
The contribution may be requested by a company enterprising in the Czech Republic and a self-employed person both for their employees or in case of self-employed persons for themselves. A temporarily assigned employee of an employment agency or another person performing work or a similar activity on the work premises of the employer along with his employees based on a legal relation other than a labour relation, is also considered an employee.
In compliance with article 4 paragraph 8 of government decree no. 56/2015 Coll., the Ministry of Healthcare has issued a list of holders of exceptions, which permits these entities to distribute antigen tests. A request for contribution for antigen tests, which are not listed in the list of tests and holders of exceptions of the Ministry of Healthcare, will not be reimbursed. You can find the list under this link: www.mzcr.cz/seznam-antigennich-testu-pro-ktere-vydalo-mz-vyjimku
The contribution may be requested retrospectively for the previous month, at the earliest from 1 April 2021 for testing of the employees in the course of March 2021.
How to request a contribution
Companies may send a request for the contribution to the respective health insurance companies by means of an on-line web form, which will be available on the website of health insurance companies from 1 April 2021. In this form, the employer needs to state the necessary data for payment of the contribution and substantiate the tax invoices for the purchased tests. The payment of the contribution is due within 30 days from the date of delivery of the submitted request.
Health insurance companies have sent activation codes to the data boxes of companies enterprising in the Czech Republic and self-employed persons for this purpose.
What documents will health insurance companies require for the contribution to be paid?
In addition to general identification and contact information about the employer, the applicant will state especially the name and surname of the tested employee/insured client, which health insurance company he belongs to, number of the employee of his date of birth, date of performing the test, positive/negative result of each test. The applicant must further substantiate an accounting/tax invoice for the purchased tests.